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Full text of "Immigration and Americanization; selected readings. Compiled and edited by Philip Davis assisted by Bertha Schwartz"

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, COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY 







We are on the threshold of a new era in the history of immi- 
gration in this country. The combined effects of the European 
war and the new immigration law of 1917 will be so great as to 
render much of our antebellum literature on immigration out of 
tune with the new order. Hence the need of a representative 
volume summarizing the best thought in past and current literature 
on immigration and Americanization. 

The book aims to cover the field of immigration and Amer- 
icanization from every possible point of view, subject to the limits 
of a single volume. It is particularly designed to meet the needs 
of high schools, colleges, universities, and Chautauquas, which 
have been frequently at a loss in recommending to the student, 
investigator, official, or general public a handbook on these twin 

This reference book is the outgrowth of several courses on 
these subjects for teachers at Boston University and of similar 
courses for workers with immigrants under the joint auspices of 
the Old South Historical Association and the University Extension 
Division of Massachusetts Board of Education. Much of the mate- 
rial of the present volume was critically examined and tested by 
the students in the light of definite standards of choice, primarily 
with the idea of making available to the general reader and 
special student alike the best that there is in the literature to date, 
covering many centuries and countries and, therefore, necessarily 
scattered and inaccessible. 

These selections have been so arranged as to present not only a 
chronological but a logical development of the subject matter, in- 
cluding the most significant recent contributions to the all-important 
problems of Americanization in terms of the broadest American 
spirit. The volume should prove a useful handbook for similar 
courses in immigration and Americanization which are growing 
in number and variety in colleges and Chautauquas, as well as 


among men's and women's clubs everywhere, and equally useful 
for general or supplementary reading for thesis work, debates, or 
general information about races and peoples, conditions and issues, 
brought into special prominence by the World War. 

As the volume goes to press, it becomes evident that our real 
problem is not immigration per se, in spite of the fact that the 
League of Nations Treaty may precipitate many international 
problems on this issue, but the Americanization of the millions of 
immigrants in our midst, to the end that the United States may 
also represent a united people. 

" Many People, One Nation " is the watchword of the Amer- 
icanization movement, and many of the distinguished men and 
women who generously contribute to the volume are themselves 
important factors in the movement. To all contributors and their 
publishers the editor desires to make grateful acknowledgment. 



The editor is indebted to all authors listed in the table of 
contents for generous permission to use selections from copy- 
righted works and other publications. Grateful acknowledgment 
is also made to the following publishers : The Macmillan Com- 
pany, the Century Company, Funk and Wagnalls Company, 
Henry Holt and Company, Little, Brown and Company, G. P. 
Putnam's Sons, the Fleming H. Revell Company, and George 
Routledge and Sons; to the publishers of the American Eco- 
nomic Review, the American Hebrew, the Educational Review, the 
Immigrants in America Review, the Journal of Sociology, the 
Popular Science Monthly, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, 
the Scientific Monthly, and the Survey; and also to the American 
Sociological Society, the Committee for Immigrants in America, 
the Knights of Columbus, the National Conference of Charities 
and Correction, and the American Federation of Labor. 





Immigration : A Field Neglected by the Scholar, by Jane Addams, LL. D., 

Hull House, Chicago 3 


Colonization and Immigration, by Edward Everett 23 

Immigration A Review, by Henry Cabot Lodge, LL.D 50 

X" History of Immigration, by Prescott F. Hall, LL. B., Secretary, Immi- 
gration Restriction League, Boston 61 


Causes of Emigration. United States Immigration Commission ... 69 



Emigration from the United Kingdom, by Stanley C. Johnson ... 95 
German Immigration, by Gustavus Ohlinger 125 


Jewish Immigration to the United States, by Samuel Joseph, Ph.D., 

Commercial High School, Brooklyn 136 

The Coming of the Italian, by John Foster Carr, Director, Immigrant 

Publication Society, New York 141 

The Newer Slavic Immigration, by Emily Greene Balch, formerly Pro- 
fessor of Political and Social Science, Wellesley College . . . . 155 


Japanese Immigration, by H. A. Millis, Professor of Economics, Uni- 
versity of Kansas 1 70 

Chinese Immigration. United States Immigration Commission . . . 190 

Chinese Immigration, by Kee Owyang, Former Consul at San Francisco 200 




A Twenty-five Years' with the New Immigrant, by Edward A. Steiner, 

* Professor of Applied Christianity, Grinnell College 204 

Immigrants in Cities, by E. A. Goldenweiser, United States Immigration 

Commission 216 

The Immigrant Woman, by Kate Waller Barrett, M. D., Special Agent, 

United States Immigration Commission 224 


d Effects of Immigration, by Leon Marshall, Professor of Political 

Economy, University of Chicago 231 

Economic : Immigration and the Minimum Wage, by Paul U. Kellogg, 

A. M., Editor of The Survey 242 

Economic : Immigration and the Living Wage, by John Mitchell . . 255 
Economic : Immigration and Crises, by Henry Pratt Fairchild, Professor 

of the Science of Society, Yale University ......... 264 

ial Problems of Recent Immigration, by Jeremiah W. Jenks, LL. D., 
and W. Jett Lauck, of the United States Immigration Commission 276 
Immigration and Health, by Alfred C. Reed, M. D., United States 

Public Health and Marine Hospital Service 299 

Immigration and Crime, by Isaac A. Hourwich, Ph. D 309 

Political Consequences of Immigration, by Edward Alsworth Ross, Pro- 
fessor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin 319 




Federal Immigration Legislation. United States Immigration Commission 326 

Restriction of Immigration, by General Francis A. Walker .... 360 
The Selection of Immigrants, by Edward T. Devine, LL. D., Director, 

New York School of Philanthropy ........... 373 

The Literacy Test : Three Historic Vetoes, by Grover Cleveland, William 

H. Taft, and Woodrow Wilson ............ 376 

The Immigration Law of 1917 .............. 381 

Future Human Migrations, by F. J. Haskin ......... 420 




Americans and our Policies, by Lillian D. Wald 427 

The Immigrant and the State 

A. The work of the California Commission of Immigration and 

Housing 440 

B. The work of the Massachusetts Bureau of Immigration .... 474 


Immigration and Distribution, by J. E. Milholland, Publicist .... 497 

Distribution of Agricultural Immigrants, from The Survey 502 

Distribution of Immigrants in the United States, by Walter F. Willcox, 

Professor of Economics and Statistics, Cornell University . . . 505 
Schemes to " Distribute " Immigrants, by Samuel Gompers, President, 

American Federation of Labor 5 2 ^ 

Governmental Distribution of Immigrants. United States Bureau of 

Immigration 549 


^The Education of Immigrants, by H. H. Wheaton, Specialist in Immi- 
grant Education 567 

X Schooling of the Immigrant, by Frank V. Thompson, Superintendent, 

Boston Public Schools 582 


The Naturalization of Foreigners, by R. E. Cole, Counsel on Naturaliza- 
tion for Committee for Immigrants in America 600 

The International College for Immigrants, by Henry M. Bowden, Pro- 
fessor of English, American International College for Immigrants, 
Springfield, Massachusetts 607 


Address at Convention Hall, Philadelphia, May 10, 1915, by Woodrow 

Wilson 611 

What America Means, by the Honorable Franklin K. Lane, Secretary 

of the Interior 615 



Americanization, by P. P. Claxton, Commissioner of Education . . . 621 

What is Americanization ? by Frances A. Kellor, LL. B. . . ' . . . 623 

True Americanism, by Louis D. Brandeis, Justice of Supreme Court . 639 

Americanism, by Theodore Roosevelt 645 

What America Means to the Immigrant, by Philip Davis, Lecturer on 

Immigration and Americanization, Boston University 66 1 


National Americanization Conference 702 

Americanization, by Richard K. Campbell, United States Commissioner 

of Naturalization 673 

Human Documents: Polish Peasant Letters 741 


INDEX 767 





IT IS, perhaps, well to rid myself at once of some of the impli- 
cations of this rather overwhelming title by stating that it 
is not the purpose of this short address to enter into a discussion 
concerning the restriction or non-restriction of immigration, 
not to attempt to analyze those astounding figures annually 
published from Ellis Island; neither do I wish to charge the 
scholar with having neglected to collect information as to the 
extent and growth of immigration in the United States, nor in 
failing to furnish statistical material as fully perhaps as the 
shifting character of the subject permits. Such formal studies 
as we have on the annual colonies of immigrants in American 
cities, and of the effect of immigration in districts similar to the 
anthracite coal regions, have been furnished by university men ; 
indeed, almost the only accurate study into the nationalities 
and locations of the immigrants in Chicago has been made by a 
member of this University. 

But in confining the subject to a scrutiny of the oft-repeated 
statement that we as a nation are rapidly reaching the limit of 
our powers of assimilation, that we receive further masses of 
immigrants at the risk of blurring those traits and characteristics 
which we are pleased to call American, with its corollary that 
the national standard of living is in danger of permanent debase- 
ment, a certain further demand may legitimately be made upon 
the scholar. I hope to be able to sustain the contention that 
such danger as exists arises from intellectual dearth and apathy ; 
that we are testing our national life by a tradition too provincial 

1 Convocation Address at the University of Chicago. Printed in The Commons, 
Vol. X., No. i, January, 1905. 


and limited to meet its present motley and cosmopolitan char- 
acter ; that we lack mental energy, adequate knowledge, and a 
sense of the youth of the earth. 


The constant cry that American institutions are in danger 
betrays a spiritual waste, not due to our infidelity to national 
ideals, but arising from the fact that we fail to enlarge those 
ideals in accord with our faithful experience of life ; and that 
our political machinery, devised for quite other conditions, has 
not been readjusted and adapted to the successive changes 
resulting from our industrial development. The clamor for the 
town meeting, for the colonial and early-century ideals of gov- 
ernment is in itself significant, for we know out of our personal 
experience that we quote the convictions and achievements of 
the past as an excuse for our inaction in moments when the 
current of life runs low ; that one of the dangers of life, one of 
its veritable moral pits, consists in the temptation to remain 
constant to a truth when we no longer wholly believe it, when 
its implications are not justified by our latest information. If 
the immigration situation contains the elements of an intellectual 
crisis, then to let the scholar off with the mere collecting of 
knowledge, or yet with its transmission, or indeed to call his 
account closed with that still higher function of research, would 
be to throw away one of our most valuable assets. 


In a sense the enormous and unprecedented moving about over 
the face of the earth on the part of all nations is in itself the 
result of philosophic dogma, of the creed of individual liberty. 
The modern system of industry and commerce presupposes 
freedom of occupation, of travel and residence; even more, it 
unhappily rests in a large measure upon the assumption of a 
body of the unemployed and the unskilled, ready to be absorbed 
or dropped according to the demands of production ; but back 
of that, or certainly preceding its later developments, lies "the 
natural right" doctrine of the eighteenth century. Even so 


late as 1892, an official treaty of the United States referred to 
the " inalienable right of man to change his residence and reli- 
gion." This dogma of the schoolmen, dramatized in France 
and penetrating under a thousand forms into the most backward 
European states, is still operating as an obscure force in sending 
emigrants to America, and in our receiving them here. But in 
the second century of its existence it has become too barren and 
chilly to induce any really zealous or beneficent activity on 
behalf of the immigrants after they arrive, and those things 
which we do believe such convictions as we have, and which 
might be formulated to the immeasurable benefit of the immi- 
grants, and to the everlasting good of our national life have 
not yet been apprehended by the scholar in relation to this 
field. They have furnished us with no method by which to dis- 
cover men, to spiritualize, to understand, to hold intercourse 
with aliens and to receive of what they bring. 


A century-old abstraction breaks down before this vigorous 
test of concrete cases, the Italian lazzaroni, the peasants from 
the Carpathian foothills, and the proscribed traders from Galatia. 
We have no national ideality founded upon realism and tested 
by our growing experience, but only the platitudes of our crudest 
youth with which to meet the situation. The philosophers and 
statesmen of the eighteenth century believed that the universal 
franchise would cure all ills ; that fraternity and equality rested 
only upon constitutional rights and privileges. The first polit- 
ical document of America opens with this philosophy and upon 
it the founders of a new state ventured their fortunes. We still 
keep to this formalization because the philosophers of this gen- 
eration give us nothing newer, ignoring the fact that the world- 
wide problems are no longer abstractly political, but politico- 
industrial. If we could frankly face the proposition that the 
whole situation is more industrial than political, then we would 
realize that the officers of the government who are dealing with 
naturalization papers and testing the knowledge of the immi- 
grants concerning the constitution of the United States are only 


playing with counters representing the beliefs of a century ago, 
while the real issues are being settled by the great industrial 
and commercial interests which are at once the product and the 
masters of our contemporary life. As children who are allowed 
to amuse themselves with poker chips pay no attention to the 
real game which their elders play with the genuine cards in their 
hands, so we shut our eyes to the exploitation and industrial 
debasement of the immigrant, and say with placid contentment 
that he has been given the rights of an American citizen, and 
that, therefore, all our obligations have been fulfilled. It is as 
if we should undertake to cure our current political corruption 
which is founded upon a disregard of the interstate commerce 
acts by requiring the recreant citizens to repeat the constitution 
of the United States. 


As yet no vigorous effort is made to discover how far our 
present system of naturalization, largely resting upon laws 
enacted in 1802, is inadequate, although it may have met the 
requirements of "the fathers." These processes were devised 
to test new citizens who had emigrated to the United States 
from political rather than from economic pressure, although 
these two have always been in a certain sense coextensive. Yet 
the early Irish came to America to seek an opportunity for self- 
government denied them at home, the Germans and Italians 
started to come in largest numbers after the absorption of their 
smaller states into the larger nations, and the immigrants from 
Russia are the conquered Poles, Lithuanians, Finns, and Jews. 
On some such obscure notion the processes of naturalization 
were worked out, and with a certain degree of logic these first 
immigrants were presented with the constitution of the United 
States as a type and epitome of that which they had come to 
seek. So far as they now come in search of political liberty, 
as many of them do every day, the test is still valid ; but in the 
meantime we cannot ignore those significant figures .which show 
emigration to rise with periods of depression in given countries, 
and immigration to be checked by periods of depression in 
America, and we refuse to see how largely the question has 


become an economic one. At the present moment, as we know, 
the actual importing of immigrants is left largely to the energy of 
steamship companies and to those agents for contract labor who 
are keen enough to avoid the restrictive laws. The business man 
here is again in the saddle as he is so largely in American affairs. 


From the time that they first ma"ke the acquaintance of the 
steamship agent in their own villages, at least until a grandchild 
is born on the new soil, the immigrants are subjected to various 
processes of exploitation from purely commercial and self-seeking 
interests. It begins with the representatives of the trans-Atlantic 
lines and their allies, who convert the peasant holdings into 
money and provide the prospective emigrants with needless 
supplies. The brokers in manufactured passports send their 
clients by successive stages for a thousand miles to a port suit- 
ing their purposes. On the way the emigrants' eyes are treated 
that they may pass the physical test, they are taught to read 
sufficiently well to meet the literacy test, they are lent enough 
money to escape the pauper test, and by the time they have 
reached America, they are sp hopelessly in debt that it takes 
them months to work out all they have received, during which 
time they are completely under the control of the last broker in 
the line, who has his dingy office in an American city. The 
exploitation continues under the employment agency whose 
operations merge into those of the politician, through the natu- 
ralization henchman, the petty lawyers who foment their quarrels 
and grievances by the statement that in a free country every- 
body "goes to law," by the liquor dealers who stimulate a lively 
trade among them ; and finally by the lodging-house keepers and 
the landlords who are not obliged to give them the housing which 
the American tenant demands. It is a long, dreary road and the 
immigrant is successfully exploited at every turn. At moments 
one looking on is driven to quote the Titanic plaint of Walt 
Whitman : 

As I stand aloof and look there is to me something profoundly 
affecting in large masses of men following the lead of those who do 
not believe in men. 



The sinister aspect of this exploitation lies in the fact that it 
is carried on by agents whose stock in trade are the counters 
and terms of citizenship. It is said that at the present moment 
there are more of these agents in Palermo than perhaps in any 
other European port, and that those politicians who have found 
it impossible to stay even in that corrupt city are engaged in 
the brokerage of naturalization papers in the United States, that 
certainly one effect of the stringent contract-labor laws has been 
to make the padrones more powerful because "smuggled alien 
labor" has become more valuable to American corporations, 
and also to make simpler the delivery of commercial interests. 
It becomes a veritable system of poisoning the notions of decent 
government because the entire process is carried on in political 
terms, our childish red, white, and blue poker chips again ! 

More elaborate avoidance of restrictive legislation quickly 
adapts itself to changes either in legislation here or at the points 
of departure ; for instance, a new type of broker in Russia at 
the present moment is making use of the war in the interests 
of young Russian Jews. If one of these men should leave the 
country ordinarily, his family would be obliged to pay three 
hundred rubles to the government, but if he first joins the army 
his family is free from this obligation for he has passed into the 
keeping of his sergeant. Out of four hundred Russian Jews who 
three months ago were drafted into the army at a given recruit- 
ing station, only ten reported, the rest having escaped through 
immigration. Of course the entire undertaking is much more 
hazardous because the man is a deserter from the army in addi- 
tion to his other disabilities, but the brokers merely put up the 
price of their services and continue their undertakings. Do we 
ignore the one million false naturalization papers in the United 
States issued and concealed by commercialized politics, in the 
interests of our uneasy knowledge that commercial and govern- 
mental powers are curiously allied, although we profess that the 
latter has no connection with the former and no control over it ? 

The man who really knows immigrants and undertakes to 
naturalize them makes no pretense of the lack of connection 
between the two. The petty and often corrupt politician who 


is first kind to them realizes perfectly well that the force pushing 
them here has been industrial' need and that its recognition is 
legitimate. He follows the natural course of events when he 
promises to get the immigrant "a job," for that is certainly what 
he most needs in all the world. If the politician nearest to him 
were really interested in the immigrant and should work out a 
scheme of naturalization fitted to the situation, he would go on 
from the street-cleaning and sewer-digging in which the immi- 
grant first engages to an understanding of the relation of those 
simple offices to city government, to the obligation of his alder- 
man to secure cleanliness for the streets in which his children 
play and for the tenement in which he lives. The notion of 
representative government should be made quite clear and con- 
crete to him. He could demand his rights and use his vote in 
order to secure them. His very naive demands might easily 
become a restraint, a purifying check upon the alderman, instead 
of a source of constant corruption and exploitation. But when 
the politician attempts to naturalize the bewildered immigrant, 
he must perforce accept the doctrinaire standard imposed by 
men who held a theory totally unattached to experience, and he 
must therefore begin with the remote constitution of the United 
States. At the Cook County Courthouse only a few weeks ago, 
a candidate for naturalization who was asked the usual question 
as to what the constitution of the United States was replied: 
"The Illinois Central." His mind naturally turned to his work, 
to the one bit of contribution he had genuinely made to the new 
country, and his reply might well offer a valuable suggestion 
to the student of educational method. The School of Education 
of this University makes industrial construction and evolution 
a natural basis for all future acquisition of knowledge and claims 
that anything less vital and creative is inadequate. 


It is surprising how a simple experience, if it be but genuine, 
affords an opening into citizenship altogether lacking to the more 
grandiose attempts. A Greek-American who slaughters sheep 
in a tenement-house yard on the basis of the Homeric tradition 
can be made to see the effect of the improvised shambles on his 


neighbors' health and the right of the city to prohibit him only 
as he perceives the development of city government upon its 
most modern basis. 

The enforcement of adequate child-labor laws offers unending 
opportunity for better citizenship, founded not upon theory 
but on action. An Italian or Bohemian parent who has worked 
in the fields from babyhood finds it difficult to understand that 
the long and monotonous work in factories in which his child 
engages is much more exigent than the intermittent outdoor 
labor required from him; that the need for education for his 
child is a matter of vital importance to his adopted city, which 
has enacted definite, well-considered legislation in regard to it. 
Some of the most enthusiastic supporters of child-labor legis- 
lation and compulsory education laws are those parents who 
sacrifice old-world tradition as well as the much needed earnings 
of their young children because of loyalty to the laws of their 
adopted country. Certainly genuine sacrifice for the nation's 
law is a good foundation for patriotism, and as this again is not 
a doctrinaire question, women are not debarred, and mothers 
who wash and scrub for the meager support of their children 
say sturdily sometimes, "It will be a year before he can go to 
work without breaking the law, but we came to this country 
to give the young ones a change and we are not going to begin 
by having them do what's not right." 

Upon some such basis as this the Hebrew Alliance and the 
Charity Organization Society of New York, which are putting 
forth desperate energy in the enormous task of ministering to 
the suffering that immigration entails, are developing under- 
standing and respect for the alien through their mutual efforts 
to secure more adequate tenement-house regulation, and to 
control the spread of tuberculosis, both of these undertakings 
being perfectly hopeless without the intelligent cooperation of 
the immigrants themselves. Through such humble doors as 
these perchance the immigrant may enter into his heritage in 
a new nation. Democratic government has always been the 
result of spiritual travail and moral effort; apparently even 
here the immigrant must pay the cost. 



As we fail to begin with his experience in the induction of the 
adult immigrant into practical citizenship, so we assume in our 
formal attempts to teach patriotism that experience and tradi- 
tions have no value, and that a new sentiment must be put into 
aliens by some external process. Some years ago a public-spirited 
organization engaged a number of speakers to go to the various 
city schools in order to instruct the children in the significance 
of Decoration Day and to foster patriotism among the foreign- 
born by descriptions of the Civil War. In one of the schools 
filled with Italian children, an old soldier, a veteran in years and 
experience, gave a description of a battle in Tennessee, and his 
personal adventures in using a pile of brush as an ambuscade 
and a fortification. Coming from the schoolhouse an eager 
young Italian broke out with characteristic vividness into a 
description of his father's campaigning under the leadership of 
Garibaldi, possibly from some obscure notion that that too was a 
civil .war fought from principle, but more likely because the 
description of one battle had roused in his mind the memory of 
another such description. The lecturer, whose sympathies 
happened to be on the other side of the Garibaldian conflict, 
somewhat sharply told him that he must forget all that, that 
he was no longer an Italian, but an American. The natural 
growth of patriotism upon respect for the achievements of one's 
fathers, the bringing together of the past with the present, the 
pointing out of the almost world-wide effort at a higher standard 
of political freedom which swept over all Europe and America 
between 1848 and 1872 could, of course, have no place in the 
boy's mind, because it had none in the mind of the instructor, 
whose patriotism apparently tried to purify itself by the American 
process of elimination. 


How far a certain cosmopolitan humanitarianism ignoring 
national differences is either possible or desirable, it is difficult 
to state, but certain it is that the old type of patriotism founded 
upon a common national history and land occupation becomes 


to many of the immigrants who bring it with them a veritable 
stumbling block and impedimenta. Many Greeks whom I 
know are fairly besotted with a consciousness of their national 
importance, and the achievements of their glorious past. Among 
them the usual effort to found a new patriotism upon American 
history is often an absurd undertaking; for instance, on the 
night of last Thanksgiving I spent some time and zeal in a descrip- 
tion of the Pilgrim Fathers, the motives which had driven them 
across the sea, while the experiences of the Plymouth colony 
were illustrated by stereopticon slides and little dramatic scenes. 
The audience of Greeks listened respectfully, although I was 
uneasily conscious of the somewhat feeble attempt to boast of 
Anglo-Saxon achievement in hardihood and privation to men 
whose powers of admiration were absorbed in their Greek back- 
ground of philosophy and beauty. At any rate after the lecture 
was over one of the Greeks said to me quite simply, "I wish I 
could describe my ancestors to you; they were different from 
yours." His further remarks were translated by a little Irish 
boy of eleven who speaks modern Greek with facility and turns 
many an honest penny by translating, into the somewhat pert 
statement: "He says if that is what your ancestors are like, 
that his could beat them out." It is a good illustration of our 
faculty for ignoring the past, and of our failure to understand the 
immigrant estimation of ourselves. This lack of a more cosmo- 
politan standard, of a consciousness of kind founded upon creative 
imagination and historic knowledge, is apparent in many direc- 
tions, and cruelly widens the gulf between immigrant fathers 
and children who are "Americans in process." 

A hideous story comes from New York of a young Russian 
Jewess who was employed as a stenographer in a down-town 
office, where she became engaged to be married to a young man 
of Jewish-American parentage. She felt keenly the difference 
between him and her newly immigrated parents, and on the night 
when he was to be presented to them she went home early to 
make every possible preparation for his coming. Her efforts 
to make the menage presentable were so discouraging, the whole 
situation filled her with such chagrin, that an hour before his 
expected arrival she ended her own life. Although the father 


was a Talmud scholar of standing in his native Russian town, 
and the lover was a clerk of very superficial attainment, she 
possessed no standard by which to judge the two men. This 
lack of standard can be charged to the entire community, for 
why should we expect an untrained girl to be able to do for her- 
self what the community so pitifully fails to accomplish ? 


As scholarship in the first half of the nineteenth century saved ^ 
literature from a futile romanticism and transformed its entire 
method by the perception that "the human is not of necessity 
the cultivated ; the human is the wide-spread, the ancient in 
speech or in behavior, it is the deep, the emotional, the thing 
much loved by many men, the poetical, the organic, the vital, 
in civilization," so I would ask the scholarship of this dawning 
century to save its contemporaries from materialism by revealing 
to us the inherent charm and resource of the humblest men. 
Equipped as it is with the training and the " unspecialized cell" 
of evolutionary science, this ought not to prove an undesirable 
task. The scholar has already pointed out to us the sweetness 
and charm which inhere in primitive domestic customs and shows 
us the curious pivot they make for religious and tribal beliefs 
until the simple action of women grinding millet or corn becomes 
almost overladen with penetrating reminiscence, sweeter than 
the chant they sing. Something of the same quality may be 
found among many of the immigrants ; when one stumbles upon 
an old Italian peasant with her distaff against her withered face 
and her pathetic old hands patiently holding the thread, as has 
been done by myriads of women since children needed to be clad ; 
or an old German potter, misshapen by years, but his sensitive 
hands fairly alive with the artist's prerogative of direct creation, 
one wishes that the scholar might be induced to go man hunting 
into these curious human groups called newly arrived immigrants ! 
Could he take these primitive habits as they are to be found 
in American cities every day, and give them their significance 
and place, they would be a wonderful factor for poesy in cities 
frankly given over to industrialism, and candidly refusing to read 
poetry which has no connection with its aims and activities. As a 


McAndrews' hymn may express the frantic rush of the industrial 
river, so these could give us some thing of the mysticism and charm 
of the industrial springs, a suggestion of source, a touch of the 
refinement which adheres to simple things. This study of origins, 
of survivals, of paths of least resistance refining an industrial 
age through the people and experiences which really belong to 
it and do not need to be brought in from the outside, surely affords 
an opening for scholarship. 


The present lack of understanding, the dearth of the illumina- 
tion which knowledge gives can be traced not only in the social 
and political maladjustment of the immigrant, but is felt in 
so-called " practical affairs" of national magnitude. Regret is 
many times expressed that, notwithstanding the fact that nine 
out of every ten immigrants are of rural birth, they all tend to 
congregate in cities where their inherited and elaborate knowl- 
edge of agricultural processes is unutilized, although they are 
fitted to undertake the painstaking method which American farm- 
ers despise. But it is characteristic of American complacency 
that when any assisted removal to agricultural regions is con- 
templated, we utterly ignore their past experiences and always 
assume that each family will be content to live in the middle of 
its own piece of ground, although there are few peoples on the 
face of the earth who have ever tried isolating a family on a 
hundred and sixty acres or eighty, or even on forty, but this is 
the American way, a survival of our pioneer days, and we refuse 
to modify it, notwithstanding the fact that the South Italians 
from the day of medieval incursions have lived in compact 
villages with an intense and elaborate social life, so much of it 
out-of-doors and interdependent that it has affected almost 
every domestic habit. Italian women knead their own bread 
but depend on the village oven for its baking, and the men would 
rather walk for miles to their fields each day than to face an 
evening of companionship limited to the family. Nothing 
could afford a better check to the constant removal to the cities 
of the farming population all over the United States than to be 
able to combine community life with agricultural occupation, 


affording that development of civilization which curiously enough 
density alone brings and for which even a free system of rural 
delivery is not an adequate substitute. Much of the significance 
and charm of rural life in South Italy lies in its village compan- 
ionship quite as the dreariness of the American farm life inheres 
in its unnecessary solitude. But we totally disregard the solu- 
tion which the old agricultural community offers, and our utter 
lack of adaptability has something to do with the fact that the 
South Italian remains in the city where he soon forgets his cunning 
in regard to silk worms and olive trees, but continues his old 
social habits to the extent of filling an entire tenement house 
with the people from one village. 


We also exhibit all the Anglo-Saxon distrust of any experi- 
ment with land tenure or method of taxation, although the single 
tax advocates in our midst do not fail to tell us daily of the 
stupidity of the present arrangement, and it might be well to 
make a few experiments upon a historic basis before their enthusi- 
asm converts us all. The Slavic village, the mir system of land 
occupation, has been in successful operation for centuries in 
Russia, training men within its narrow limits to community 
administration; and yet when a persecuted sect from Russia 
wishes to find refuge in America and naturally seven thousand 
people cannot give up all at once even if it were desirable a system 
of land ownership in which they are expert and which is singu- 
larly like that in Palestine during its period of highest prosperity 
we cannot receive them in the United States because our 
laws have no way of dealing with such a case. And in Canada, 
where they are finally settled, the unimaginative Dominion 
officials are driven to the verge of distraction concerning regis- 
tration of deeds and the collection of taxes from men who do 
not claim acres in their own names but in the name of the vil- 
lage. The official distraction is reflected and intensified among 
the people themselves to the point of driving them into the 
medieval "marching mania," in the hope of finding a land in 
the south where they may carry out their inoffensive mir 
system. The entire situation might prove that an unbending 


theory of individualism may become as fixed as status itself. 
There are certainly other factors in the Doukhobor situation 
of religious bigotry and of the self-seeking of leadership, but in 
spite of the fact that the Canadian officials have in other matters 
exhibited much of the adaptability which distinguishes the 
British colonial policy, they are completely stranded on the rock 
of Anglo-Saxon individualistic ownership, and assume that any 
other system of land tenure is subversive of government, although 
Russia manages to exert a fair amount of governmental control 
over thousands of acres held under the system which they detest. 


In our eagerness to reproach the immigrant for not going upon 
the land, we almost overlook the contributions to city life which 
those of them who were adapted to it in Europe are making to our 
cities here. From dingy little eating houses in lower New York, 
performing a function somewhat between the eighteenth century 
coffeehouse and the Parisian cafe, is issuing at the present 
moment perhaps the sturdiest realistic drama that is being pro- 
duced on American soil. Late into the night speculation is 
carried forward not on the nice questions of the Talmud and 
quibbles of logic, but minds long trained on these seriously dis- 
cuss the need of a readjustment of the industrial machine that 
the primitive sense of justice and righteousness may secure 
larger play in our social organization. And yet a Russian in 
Chicago who used to believe that Americans cared first and fore- 
most for political liberty and would certainly admire those who 
had suffered in its cause finds no one interested in his story of 
six years' banishment beyond the Antarctic circle, and is really 
listened to only when he tells to a sportsman the tale of the 
fish he caught during the six weeks of summer when the rivers 
were open. " Lively work then, but plenty of time to eat them 
dried and frozen through the rest of the year," is the most sym- 
pathetic comment he has yet received upon an experience 
which at least to him held the bitter-sweet of martyrdom. 



Among the colonies of the most recently immigrated Jews 
who still carry out their orthodox customs and a ritual preserved 
through centuries in the Ghetto, one constantly feels during a 
season of religious observance a refreshing insistence upon the 
reality of the inner life, and the dignity of its expression in in- 
herited form. Perhaps the most striking approach to the ma- 
terialism of Chicago is the sight of a Chicago River bridge lined 
with men and women on one day in the year oblivious of the 
noisy traffic and sordid surroundings, casting their sins upon 
the waters that they may be carried far from them. That 
obsession which the materialism of Chicago sometimes makes 
upon one's brain so that one is almost driven to go out upon 
the street fairly shouting that after all life does not consist in 
wealth, in learning, in enterprise, in energy, in success, not even 
in that modern fetish culture, but upon an inner equilibrium, 
"the agreement of soul," is here for once plainly stated, and is 
a relief even in its exaggeration and grotesqueness. 

The charge that recent immigration threatens to debase the 
American standard of living is certainly a grave one, but I 
would invite the scholar even into that sterner region which we 
are accustomed to regard as purely industrial. At first glance 
nothing seems further from an intellectual proposition than this 
question of tin cups and plates stored in a bunk versus a white 
cloth and a cottage table, and yet, curiously enough, an English 
writer has recently cited "standards of life" as an illustration 
of the fact that it is ideas which mold the lives of men, and states 
that around the deeply significant idea of the standard of life 
center our industrial problems of to-day, and that this idea forms 
the base of all the forward movements of the working class. 
The significance of the standard of life lies, not so much in the 
fact that for each of us it is different, but that for all of us it is 
progressive, constantly invading new realms. To imagine that 
all goes well if sewing machines and cottage organs reach the 
first generation of immigrants, fashionable dressmakers and 
pianos the second, is of course the most untutored interpretation 
of it. And yet it is a question of food and shelter, and further 
of the maintenance of industrial efficiency and of life itself to 


thousands of men, and this gigantic task of standardizing suc- 
cessive nations of immigrants falls upon workmen who lose all 
if they fail. 


Curiously enough, however, as soon as the immigrant situa- 
tion is frankly regarded as an industrial one, the really political 
nature of the essentially industrial situation is revealed in the 
fact that trade organizations which openly concern themselves 
with the immigration problem on its industrial side quickly 
take on the paraphernalia and machinery which have hitherto 
associated themselves with governmental life and control. The 
trades-unions have worked out all over again local autonomy 
with central councils and national representative bodies and the 
use of the referendum vote. They also exhibit many features 
of political corruption and manipulation but they still contain 
the purifying power of reality, for the trades-unions are engaged 
in a desperate struggle to maintain a standard wage against the 
constant arrival of unskilled immigrants at the rate of three 
quarters of a million a year, at the very period when the elabora- 
tion of machinery permits the largest use of unskilled men. 
The first real lesson in self-government to many immigrants 
has come through the organization of labor unions, and it could 
come in no other way, for the union alone has appealed to their 
necessities. And out of these primal necessities one sees the 
first indication of an idealism of which one at moments dares 
to hope that it may be sturdy enough and sufficiently founded 
upon experience to make some impression upon the tremendous 
immigration situation. 


'To illustrate from the Stockyards strike of last summer, may 
I quote from a study made from the University of Wisconsin - 
and mindful of my audience all I say of trades-unions shall be 
quoted from Ph.D.'s : 

Perhaps the fact of greatest social significance is that the strike 
of 1904 was not merely a strike of skilled labor for the unskilled, but 


was a strike of Americanized Irish, Germans, and Bohemians in behalf 
of Slovaks, Poles, and Lithuanians. . . . This substitution of races 
in the Stockyards has been a continuing process for twenty years. 
The older nationalities have already disappeared from the unskilled 
occupations and the substitution has evidently run along the line of 
lower standard of living. The latest arrivals, the Lithuanians and 
Slovaks, are probably the most oppressed of the peasants of Europe. 

Those who attended the crowded meetings of last summer 
and heard the same address successively translated by inter- 
preters into six or eight languages, who saw the respect shown 
to the most uncouth of the speakers by the skilled American 
men who represented a distinctly superior standard of life and 
thought, could never doubt the power of the labor organizations 
for amalgamation, whatever opinion they might hold concern- 
*ing their other values. This may be said in spite of the fact 
that great industrial disturbances have arisen from the under- 
cutting of- wages by the lowering of racial standard. Certainly 
the most notable of these have taken place in these industries 
and at those places in. which the importation of immigrants 
has been deliberately fostered as a wage-lowering weapon, and 
even in those disturbances and under the shock and strain of a 
long strike disintegration did not come along the line of race 


It may further, be contended that this remarkable coming 
together has been the result of economic pressure and is with- 
out merit or idealism, that the trades-union record on Chinese 
exclusion and negro discrimination has been damaging, and 
yet I would quote from a study of the anthracite coal fields 
made from the University of Pennsylvania : 

The United Mine Workers of America is taking men of a score of 
nationalities English-speaking and Slavmen of widely different 
creeds, languages, and customs, and of varying powers of industrial 
competition, and is welding them into an industrial brotherhood, 
each part of which can at least understand of the others that they are 
working for one great and common end. This bond of unionism is 
stronger than one can readily imagine who has not seen its mysterious 
workings or who has not been a victim of its members' newly found 


enthusiasm. It is to-day the strongest tie that can bind together 
147,000 mine workers and the thousands dependent upon them. It 
is more than religion, more than the social ties which hold together 
members of the same community. 

This is from a careful study by Mr. Warne, which doubt- 
less many of you know, called " The Slav Invasion." 


It was during a remarkable struggle on the part of this amal- 
gamation of men from all countries, that the United States 
government in spite of itself was driven to take a hand in an 
industrial situation, owing to the long strain and the intolerable 
suffering entailed upon the whole country, but even then public 
opinion was too aroused, too moralized to be patient with an 
investigation of the mere commercial questions of tonnage and 
freight rates with their political implications, and insisted that 
the national commission should consider the human aspects of 
the case. Columns of newspapers and days of investigation were 
given to the discussion of the deeds of violence, having nothing 
to do with the original demands of the strikers, and entering 
only into the value set upon human life by each of the con- 
testing parties; did the union encourage violence against non- 
union men, or did it really do everything to suppress it, living 
up to its creed, which was to maintain a standard of living that 
families might be properly housed and fed and protected from 
debilitating toil and disease, that children might be nurtured 
into American citizenship ; did the operators protect their men 
as far as possible from mine damp, from length of hours proven 
by experience to be exhausting ; did they pay a sufficient wage 
to the mine laborer to allow him to send his children to school ; 
questions such as these, a study of the human problem, invaded 
the commission day after day during its sitting. One felt for 
the moment the first wave of a rising tide of humanitarianism, 
until the normal ideals of the laborer to secure food and shelter 
for his family and security for his old age, and a larger opportunity 
for his children, become the ideals of democratic government. 



It may be owing to the fact that the working man is brought 
in direct contact with the situation as a desperate problem of 
living wage or starvation, it may be that wisdom is at hef old 
trick of residing in the hearts of the simple, or that this new 
idealism which is that of a reasonable life and labor must from 
the very nature of things proceed from those who labor, or 
possibly because amelioration arises whence it is so sorely needed, 
but certainly it is true, that while the rest of the country talks 
of assimilation as if we were a huge digestive apparatus, the man 
with whom the immigrant has come most sharply into compe- 
tition has been forced into fraternal relations with him. 

All the peoples of the world have become part of our tribunal, 
and their sense of pity, their clamor for personal kindness, their 
insistence upon the right to join in our progress, cannot be dis- 
regarded. The burdens and sorrows of men have unexpectedly 
become intelligible and urgent to this nation, and it is only by 
accepting them with some magnanimity that we can develop 
the larger sense of justice which is becoming world-wide and is 
lying in ambush, as it were, to manifest itself in governmental 
relations. Men of all nations are determining upon the abolition 
of degrading poverty, disease, and intellectual weakness with 
their resulting industrial inefficiency. This manifests itself 
in labor legislation in England, in the Imperial Sick and Old- 
Age Insurance Acts of Germany, in the enormous system of 
public education in the United States. 


To be afraid of it is to lose what we have. A government has 
always received feeble support from its constituents as soon as 
its demands appeared childish or remote. Citizens inevitably 
neglect or abandon civic duty when it no longer embodies their 
genuine desires. It is useless to hypnotize ourselves by unreal 
talk of colonial ideals and patriotic duty toward immigrants as 
if it were a question of passing a set of resolutions. The nation 
must be saved by its lovers, by the patriots who possess adequate 
and contemporaneous knowledge. A commingling of racial 


habits and national characteristics in the end must rest upon the 
voluntary balance and concord of many forces. 

We may with justice demand from the scholar the philosophic 
statement, the reconstruction and reorganization of the knowl- 
edge which he possesses, only if we agree to make it over into 
healthy and direct expressions of free living. 




SOCIETY : Although I appear before you at the season at 
which the various religious, moral, and philanthropic societies 
usually hold their annual meetings to discuss the stirring and 
controverted topics of the day, I need not say to you that the 
proprieties of this occasion require me to abstain from such sub- 
jects; and to select a theme falling, to some extent at least, 
within the province of an historical society. I propose, ac- 
cordingly, this evening, to attempt a sketch of the history of 
the discovery and colonization of America and of immigration 
to the United States. I can of course offer you, within the 
limits of a single address, but a most superficial view of so 
vast a subject; but I have thought that even a sketch of a 
subject, which concerns us so directly and in so many ways, 
would suggest important trains of reflection to thoughtful 
minds. Words written or spoken are at best but a kind of 
shorthand, to be filled up by the reader or hearer. I shall be 
gratified if, after honoring my hasty sketch with your kind 
attention, you shall deem it worth filling up from your own 
stores of knowledge and thought. You will forgive me, if, in 
the attempt to give a certain completeness to the narrative, I 
shall be led to glance at a few facts, which, however inter- 
esting, may seem to you too familiar for repetition. 

In the last quarter of the fifteenth century, an Italian mari- 
ner, a citizen of the little republic of Genoa, who had hitherto 
gained his livelihood as a pilot in the commercial marine of 
different countries, made his appearance successively at various 

1 A lecture delivered before the New York Historical Society, in Metropolitan 
Hall, on the first of June, 1853. 



courts in the South and West of Europe, soliciting patronage 
and aid for a bold and novel project in navigation. The 
state of the times was in some degree favorable to the adven- 
ture. The Portuguese had for half a century been pushing 
their discoveries southward upon the coast of Africa, and they 
had ventured into the Atlantic as far as the Azores. Several 
conspiring causes, and especially the invention of the art of 
printing, had produced a general revival of intelligence. Still, 
however, the state of things in this respect was at that time 
very different from what we witness in the middle of the nine- 
teenth century. On the part of the great mass of mankind, 
there was but little improvement over the darkness of the 
Middle Ages. The new culture centered in the convent, the 
court, and the university, places essentially distrustful of bold 

The idea of reaching the East by a voyage around the Af- 
rican continent had begun to assume consistency; but the 
vastly more significant idea, that the earth is a globe and ca- 
pable of being circumnavigated, had by no means become 
incorporated into the general intelligence of the age. The 
Portuguese navigators felt themselves safe as they crept along 
the African coast, venturing each voyage a few leagues farther, 
doubling a new headland, ascending some before unexplored 
river, holding a palaver with some new tribe of the native races. 
But to turn the prows of their vessels boldly to the west, to 
embark upon an ocean, not believed, in the popular geography 
of the day, to have an outer shore, to pass that bourne from 
which no traveler had ever returned, and from which experience 
had not taught that any traveler could return, and thus to 
reach the East by sailing in a western direction, this was a 
conception which no human being is known to have formed before 
Columbus, and which he proposed to the governments of Italy, of 
Spain, of Portugal, and for a long time without success. The 
state of science was not such as to enable men to discriminate 
between the improbable and untried on the one hand, and the 
impossible and absurd on the other. They looked upon Columbus 
as we did thirty years ago upon Captain Symmes. 

But the illustrious adventurer persevered. Sorrow and dis- 
appointment clouded his spirits, but did not shake his faith nor 


subdue his will. His well-instructed imagination had taken 
firm hold of the idea that the earth is a sphere. What seemed 
to the multitude even of the educated of that day a doubtful 
and somewhat mystical theory; what appeared to the un- 
informed mass a monstrous paradox, contradicted by every step 
we take upon the broad, flat earth which we daily tread beneath 
our feet ; that great and fruitful truth revealed itself to the 
serene intelligence of Columbus as a practical fact, on which he 
was willing to stake all he had, character and life. And it 
deserves ever to be borne in mind, as the most illustrious example 
of the connection of scientific theory with great practical results, 
that the discovery of America, with all its momentous conse- 
quences to mankind, is owing to the distinct conception in the 
mind of Columbus of this single scientific proposition, the 
terraqueous earth is a sphere. 

After years of fruitless and heart-sick solicitation, after offer- 
ing in effect to this monarch and to that monarch the gift of 
a hemisphere, the great discoverer touches upon a partial suc- 
cess. He succeeds, not in enlisting the sympathy of his country- 
men at Genoa and Venice for a brave brother sailor; not in 
giving a new direction to the spirit of maritime adventure which 
had so long prevailed in Portugal ; not in stimulating the com- 
mercial thrift of Henry the Seventh, or the pious ambition of the 
Catholic King. His sorrowful perseverance touched the heart 
of a noble princess, worthy the throne which she adorned. 
The New World, which was just escaping the subtle kingcraft 
of Ferdinand, was saved to Spain by the womanly compassion 
of Isabella. 

It is truly melancholy, however, to contemplate the wretched 
equipment, for which the most powerful princess in Christendom 
was ready to pledge her jewels. Floating castles will soon be 
fitted out to convey the miserable natives of Africa to the golden 
shores of America, and towering galleons will be dispatched to 
bring home the guilty treasures to Spain ; but three small vessels, 
two of which were without a deck, and neither of them probably 
exceeding the capacity of a pilot-boat, and even these impressed 
into the public service, composed the expedition, fitted out under 
royal patronage, to realize that magnificent conception in which the 
creative mind of Columbus had planted the germs of a new world. 


No chapter of romance equals the interest of this expedi- 
tion. The most fascinating of the works of fiction which have 
issued from the modern press have, to my taste, no attraction 
compared with the pages in which the first voyage of Columbus 
is described by Robertson, and especially by our own Irving 
and Prescott, the last two enjoying the advantage over the 
great Scottish historian of possessing the lately discovered 
journals and letters of Columbus himself. The departure from 
Palos, where a few years before he had begged a morsel of bread 
and a cup of water for his wayworn child ; his final farewell to 
the Old World at the Canaries; his entrance upon the trade 
winds, which then, for the first time, filled a European sail; 
the portentous variation of the needle, never before observed; 
the fearful course westward and westward, day after day and 
night after night, over the unknown ocean ; the mutinous and 
ill-appeased crew ; at length, when hope had turned to despair 
in every heart but one, the tokens of land ; the cloud-banks on 
the western horizon ; the logs of driftwood ; the fresh shrub 
floating with its leaves and berries ; the flocks of land-birds ; the 
shoals of fish that inhabit shallow water ; the indescribable smell 
of the shore ; the mysterious presentiment that ever goes before 
a great event ; and, finally, on that ever memorable night 
of the 1 2th of October, 1492, the moving light seen by the sleep- 
less eye of the great discoverer himself from the deck of the 
Santa Maria, and in the morning the real, undoubted land, swell- 
ing up from the bosom of the deep, with its plains, and hills, and 
forests, and rocks, and streams, and strange, new races of men ; 
these are incidents in which the authentic history of the discovery 
of our continent excels the specious wonders of romance, as 
much as gold excels tinsel, or the sun in the heavens outshines 
that flickering taper. 

But it is no part of my purpose to dwell upon this inter- 
esting narrative, or to follow out this most wonderful of histo- 
ries, srnking as it soon did into a tale of sorrow for Columbus 
himself, and before long ending in one of the most frightful 
tragedies in the annals of the world. Such seems to be the 
law of humanity, that events the most desirable and achieve- 
ments the most important should, either in their inception or 


progress, be mixed up with disasters, crimes, and sorrows which 
it makes the heart sick to record. 

The discovery of America, I need hardly say, produced a 
vast extension of the territory of the power under whose aus- 
pices the discovery was made. In contemplating this point, 
we encounter one of the most terrible mysteries in the history 
of our race. "Extension of territory!" you are ready to ex- 
claim ; "how could Spain acquire any territory by the fact that 
a navigator, sailing under her patronage, had landed upon one or 
two islands near the continent of America, and coasted for a few 
hundred miles along its shores? These shores and islands are 
not a desert on which Columbus, like a Robinson Crusoe of a 
higher order, has landed and taken possession. They are occupied 
and settled, crowded, even, with inhabitants, subject to 
the government of their native chiefs ; and neither by inheritance, 
colonization, nor as yet by conquest, has any human being in 
Europe a right to rule over them or to possess a square foot of their 
territory." Such are the facts of the case, and such, one would 
say, ought to be the law of equity of the case. But alas for the 
native chiefs and the native races ! Before he sailed from Spain, 
Columbus was furnished with a piece of parchment a foot and a 
half square, by Ferdinand and Isabella, creating him their 
Viceroy and High Admiral in all the seas, islands, and con- 
tinents which he should discover, his heirs forever to enjoy 
the same offices. The Viceroy of the absolute monarchs of 
Aragon and Castile ! 

Thus was America conquered before it was discovered. By 
the law of nations as then understood, (and I fear there is 
less change in its doctrine at the present day than we should 
be ready to think,) a sovereign right to the territory and gov- 
ernment of all newly discovered regions inhabited by heathen 
tribes we believed to vest in the Christian prince under whose 
auspices the discovery was made, subject to the ratification 
of the Pope, as the ultimate disposer of the kingdoms of the 
earth. Such was the law of nations, as then understood, in 
virtue of which, from the moment Columbus, on that memora- 
ble night to which I have alluded, caught, from the quarter- 
deck of the Santa Maria, the twinkling beams of a taper from 


the shores of San Salvador, all the territorial and political 
rights of its simple inhabitants were extinguished forever. 
When on the following morning the keel of his vessel grated 
upon the much longed for strand, it completed, with more than 
electric speed, that terrible circuit which connected the islands 
and the continent to the footstool of the Spanish throne. As 
he landed upon the virgin shore, its native inhabitants, could 
they have foreseen the future, would have felt, if I may pre- 
sume thus to apply the words, that virtue had gone out of 
it forever. With some of them the process was sharp and 
instantaneous, with others more gradual, but not less sure ; with 
some, even after nearly four centuries, it is still going on ; but with 
all it was an irrevocable doom. The wild and warlike, the in- 
dolent and semicivilized, the bloody Aztec, the inoffensive Peru- 
vian, the fierce Araucanian, all fared alike ; a foreign rule and 
an iron yoke settled or is settling down upon their necks forever. 
Such was the law of nations of that day, not enacted, how- 
ever, by Spain. It was in reality the old principle of the right 
of the strongest, disguised by a pretext ; a colossal iron falsehood 
gilded over with the thin foil of a seeming truth. It was the same 
principle which prompted the eternal wars of the Greeks and 
Romans. Aristotle asserts, without qualification, that the Greeks 
had a perpetual right of war and conquest against the barbarians, 
- that is, all the rest of the world ; and the pupil of Aristotle 
proclaimed this doctrine at the head of the Macedonian phalanx 
on the banks of the Indus. The irruption of the barbarous races 
into Europe, during the centuries that preceded and followed 
Christianity, rested on as good a principle, rather better, - 
the pretext only was varied ; although the Gauls and Goths did 
not probably trouble themselves much about pretexts. They 
adopted rather the simple philosophy of the robber chieftain 
of the Scottish Highlands : 

Pent in this fortress of the North, 
Think'st thou we will not sally forth, 
To spoil the spoiler as we may, 
And from the robber rend the prey ? 

When the Mohammedan races rose to power, they claimed 
dominion over all who disbelieved the Koran. Conversion or 


extermination was the alternative which they offered to the 
world, and which was announced in letters of fire and blood 
from Spain to the Ganges. The states of Christian Europe 
did but retort the principle and the practice, when, in a series 
of crusades, kept up for more than three hundred years, they 
poured desolation over the west of Asia, in order to rescue 
the sepulcher of the Prince of Peace from the possession of 

Such were the principles of the public law and the practice 
under them, as they existed when the great discoveries of the 
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries took place. When the Por- 
tuguese began to push their adventures far to the south on 
the coast of Africa, in order to give to those principles the 
highest sanction, they procured of Pope Nicholas the Fifth, in 
1454, the grant of the right of sovereignty over all the heathen 
tribes, nations, and countries discovered or to be discovered 
by them, from Africa to India, and the exclusive title thus 
conferred was recognized by all the other nations of Chris- 

On the return of Columbus from his first voyage, the king 
of Spain, not to fall behind his neighbors in the strength of 
his title, lost no time in obtaining from Pope Alexander the 
Sixth a similar grant of all the heathen lands discovered by 
Columbus, or which might hereafter be discovered, in the west. 
To preclude as far as possible all* conflict with Portugal, the 
famous line of demarcation was projected from the north to 
the south, a hundred leagues west of the Azores, cutting the 
earth into halves, like an apple, and, as far as the new dis- 
coveries were concerned, giving to the Spaniards all west of 
the line, and confirming all east of it to the Portuguese, in virtue 
of the grant already mentioned of Pope Nicholas the Fifth. 

I regret that want of time will not allow me to dwell upon 
the curious history of this line of demarcation, for the benefit 
of all states having boundary controversies, and especially 
our sister republics of Nicaragua and Costa Rica. It is suf- 
ficient to say, that, having had its origin in the papal bull just 
referred to of 1454, it remained a subject of dispute and col- 
lision for three hundred and sixty-one years, and was finally 
settled at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 ! 


The territorial extension of Portugal and Spain, which re- 
sulted from the discovery of America, was followed by the 
most extraordinary effects upon the commerce, the finances, 
and the politics generally, of those two countries, and through 
them of the world. The overland trade to the East, the great 
commercial interest of the Middle Ages, was abandoned. The 
whole of South America, and a considerable part of North 
America, were, in the course of the sixteenth century, settled 
by those governments; who organized in their Transatlantic 
possessions a colonial system of the most rigid and despotic 
character, reflecting as far as was practicable in distant prov- 
inces beyond the sea the stern features of the mother coun- 
try. The precious metals, and a monopoly of the trade to the 
East, were the great objects to be* secured. Aliens were for- 
bidden to enter the American viceroyalties ; none but a con- 
traband trade was carried on by foreigners at the seaports. 
To prevent this trade, a severe right of search was instituted 
along the entire extent of the coasts, on either ocean. I have 
recently had an opportunity, in another place, to advert to the 
effects of this system upon the international relations of Eu- 
rope. 1 Native subjects could emigrate to these vast colonial 
possessions only with the permission of the government. 
Liberty of speech and of the press was unknown. Instead 
of affording an asylum to persons dissenting from the religion 
of the state, conformity of belief was, if possible, enforced 
more rigidly in the colonies than in the mother country. No 
relaxation in this respect has, I believe, taken place in the 
remaining colonies of Spain even to the present day. As for 
the aboriginal tribes, after the first work of extermination was 
over a remnant was saved from destruction by being reduced 
to a state of predial servitude. The dejected and spiritless 
posterity of the warlike tribes that offered no mean resistance 
to Cortes and Pizarro are now the hewers of wood and the 
drawers of water to Mexico and Peru. In a word, from the 
extreme southern point of Patagonia to the northernmost limit 
of New Mexico, I am not aware that anything hopeful was 

1 Speech on the affairs of Central America, in the Senate of the United States, 
aist of March, 1853. 


done for human improvement by either of the European crowns 
which added these vast domains to their territories. 

If this great territorial extension was fruitless of beneficial 
consequences to America, it was not less so to the mother 
countries. For Spain it was the commencement of a period, 
not of prosperity, but of decline. The rapid influx of the pre- 
cious metals, in the absence of civil liberty and of just prin- 
ciples and institutions of intercourse and industry, was pro- 
ductive of manifold evils; and from the reign of Philip the 
Second, if not of Charles the Fifth, the Spanish monarchy 
began to sink from its haughty position at the head of the 
European family. I do not ascribe this downfall exclusively 
to the cause mentioned ; but the possession of the two Indies, 
with all their treasures, did nothing to arrest, accelerated even, 
the progress of degeneracy. Active causes of decline no doubt 
existed at home ; and of these the Inquisition was the chief. 

There was the weight that pulled her down. 

The spirit of intolerance and persecution, the reproach and 
scandal of all countries and all churches, Protestant as well as 
Catholic (not excepting the Pilgrim Fathers of New England), 
found an instrument in the Holy Office in Spain, in the six- 
teenth century, such as it never possessed in any other age or 
country. It was not merely Jews and heretics whom it bound 
to the stake ; it kindled a slow, unquenchable fire in the heart of 
Castile and Leon. The horrid atrocities practiced at home and 
abroad, not only in the Netherlands, but in every city of the 
mother country, cried to Heaven for vengeance upon Spain; 
nor could she escape it. She intrenched herself behind the eternal 
Cordilleras ; she took to herself the wings of the morning, and 
dwelt in the uttermost parts of the sea ; but even there the arm 
of retribution laid hold of her, and the wrongs of both hemi- 
spheres were avenged in her degeneracy and fall. 

But let us pass on to the next century, during which events 
of the utmost consequence followed each other in rapid suc- 
cession, and the foundations of institutions destined to influ- 
ence the fortunes of Christendom were laid by humble men, 


who little comprehended their own work. In the course of 
the seventeenth century, the French and English took posses- 
sion of all that part of North America which was not pre- 
occupied by the Spaniards. The French entered by the 
St. Lawrence ; followed that noble artery to the heart of the 
continent ; traced the great lakes to their parent rivulets and 
weeping fountains; descended the Mississippi. Miracles of 
humble and unavailing heroism were performed by their gallant 
adventurers and pious missionaries in the depths of our Western 
wilderness. The English stretched along the coast. The geog- 
rapher would have pronounced that the French, in appro- 
priating to themselves the mighty basins of the Mississippi and 
the St. Lawrence, had got possession of the better part of the 
continent. But it was an attempt to compose the second volume 
of the "Fortunes of America," in advance of the first. This it was 
ordained should be written at Jamestown and Plymouth. The 
French, though excelling all other nations of the world in the 
art of communicating for temporary purposes with savage 
tribes, seem, still more than the Spaniards, to be destitute of the 
august skill required to found new states. 1 I do not know that 
there is such a thing in the world as a colony of France growing 
up into a prosperous commonwealth. Half a million of French 
peasants in Lower Canada, tenaciously adhering to the manners 
and customs which their fathers brought from Normandy two 
centuries ago, and a third part of that number of planters of 
French descent in Louisiana, are all that is left to bear living 
witness to the amazing fact, that in the middle of the last century 
France was the mistress of the better half of North America. 

It was on the Atlantic coast, and in the colonies originally 
planted or soon acquired by England, that the great work 
of the seventeenth century was performed, slowly, toilsomely, 
effectively. A mighty work for America and mankind, of which 
even we, fond and proud of it as we are, do but faintly guess 
the magnitude ! It could hardly be said, at the time, to prosper 
in any of its parts. It yielded no return to the pecuniary capital 
invested. The political relations of the colonies from the first 
were those of encroachment and resistance ; and even the moral 

*"La France saura mal coloniser et n'y re"ussira qu'avec peine." VICTOR 
HUGO, "Le Rhin," Tom. II, p. 280. 


principle, as far as there was one, on which they were founded, was 
not consistently carried out. There was conflict with the savages, 
war with the French and Spaniards, jarring and feud between 
neighboring colonies, persecution of dissenting individuals and 
sects, perpetual discord with the crown and the proprieta- 
ries. Yet, in the main and on the whole, the WORK was done. 
Things that did not work singly worked together ; or if they did 
not work together, they worked by reaction and collision. Feeble 
germs of settlement grew to the consistency of powerful colonies ; 
habits of civil government rooted themselves in a soil that was 
continually stirred by political agitation; the frame of future 
republics knit itself, as it were in embryo, under a monarchical 
system of colonial rule ; till in the middle of the eighteenth 
century the approach of mighty changes began to be dimly 
foreseen by gifted spirits. A faint streak of purple light blushed 
along the eastern sky. 

Two things worth mentioning contributed to the result. 
One was the absence of the precious metals. The British 
colonies were rich in the want of gold. As the abundance of 
gold and silver in Mexico and Peru contributed, in various 
ways, to obstruct the prosperity of the Spanish colonies, the 
want of them acted not less favorably here. In the first settle- 
ment of a savage wilderness the golden attraction is too powerful 
for the ordinary routine of life. It produces a feverish excitement 
unfavorable to the healthy growth and calm action of the body 
politic. Although California has from the first had the advantage 
of being incorporated into a stable political system, of which, as 
a sister State, she forms an integral part, it is quite doubtful 
whether, looking to her permanent well-being, the gold is to be 
a blessing to her. It will hasten her settlement ; but that would 
at any rate have advanced with great rapidity. One of the most 
intellectual men in this country, the author of one of the most 
admirable works in our language, I mean "Two Years before 
the Mast," once remarked to me, that "California would be one 
of the finest countries in the world to live in, if it were not for 
the gold." 

The other circumstance which operated in the most favor- 
able manner upon the growth of the Anglo-American colonies 
was the fact, that they were called into existence less by the 



government than the people; that they were mainly settled, 
not by bodies of colonists, but by individual immigrants. The 
crown gave charters of government and grants of land, and a 
considerable expenditure was made by some of the companies and 
proprietors who received these grants ; but upon the whole, the 
United States were settled by individuals, the adventurous, 
resolute, high-spirited, and in many cases persecuted men and 
women, who sought a home and a refuge beyond the sea ; and 
such was the state of Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries, that it furnished a succession of victims of a long series 
of political and religious disasters and persecutions, who found, 
one after another, a safe and a congenial retreat in some one of 
the American colonies. 

This noble theme has been treated with a beauty and a 
power, by one whom I need not name in this presence (the 
historian of the United States), which, without impairing their 
authenticity, have converted the severe pages of our history 
into a magnificent Odyssey of national adventure. I can 
but glance at the dates. The first settlement that of Vir- 
ginia, was commenced in the spirit of worldly enterprise, with 
no slight dash, however, of chivalry and romance on the part 
of its leader. In the next generation this colony became the 
favorite resort of the loyal cavaliers and gentlemen who were 
disgusted by the austerities of the English Commonwealth, or 
fell under its suspicion. In the meantime, New England was 
founded by those who suffered the penalties of nonconformity. 
The mighty change of 1640 stopped the tide of emigration to 
New England, but recruited Virginia with those who were dis- 
affected to Cromwell. In 1624 the island of Manhattan, of which 
you have perhaps heard, and if not, you will find its history 
related with learning, judgment, and good taste, by a loyal* de- 
scendant of its early settlers (Mr. Brodhead) , was purchased of 
the Indians for twenty-four dollars; a sum of money, by the 
way, which seems rather low for twenty-two thousand acres 
of land, including the site of this great metropolis, but which 
would, if put out at compound interest at 7 per cent in 
1624, not perhaps fall so very much below even its present 
value; though I admit that a dollar for a thousand acres is 
quite cheap for choice spots on the Fifth Avenue. Maryland 


next attracted those who adhered to the ancient faith of the 
Christian world. New Jersey and Pennsylvania were mainly 
settled by persecuted Quakers ; but the latter offered an asylum 
to the Germans whom the sword of Louis the Fourteenth drove 
from the Palatinate. The French Huguenots, driven out by 
the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, scattered themselves from 
Massachusetts to Carolina. The Dutch and Swedish settlements 
on the Hudson and the Delaware provided a kindred home for 
such of their countrymen as desired to try the fortune of the New 
World. The Whigs of England who rebelled against James the 
Second, in 1685, and were sent to the Transatlantic colonies, lived 
long enough to meet in exile the adherents of his son, who 
rebelled against George the First, in 1715. The oppressed 
Protestants of Salzburg came with General Oglethorpe to 
Georgia ; and the Highlanders who fought for Charles Edward, 
in 1745, were deported by hundreds to North Carolina. They 
were punished by being sent from their bleak hills and sterile 
moors to a land of abundance and liberty ; they were banished 
from oatmeal porridge to meat twice a day. The Gaelic lan- 
guage is still spoken by their descendants, and thousands of their 
kindred at the present day would no doubt gladly share their 

There is no doubt that the hardships which awaited the 
emigrant at that early day were neither few nor slight, though 
greatly exaggerated for want of information. Goldsmith, in 
"The Deserted Village," published in 1769, gives us a some- 
what amusing picture of the state of things as he supposed it 
to exist beyond the ocean at that time. As his local allusion 
is to Georgia, it is probable that he formed his impressions 
from the accounts which were published at London about 
the middle of the last century by some of the discontented 
settlers of that colony. Goldsmith, being well acquainted 
with General Oglethorpe, was, likely enough to have had his 
attention called to the subject. Perhaps you will allow me 
to enliven my dull prose with a few lines of his beautiful poetry. 
After describing the sufferings of the poor in London at that 
time, reverting to the condition of the inhabitants of his imaginary 
Auburn, and asking whether they probably shared the woes he 
had just painted, he thus answers his question : 


Ah, no ! To distant climes, a dreary scene, 

Where half the convex world intrudes between, 

Through torrid tracts with fainting steps they go, 

Where wild Altama murmurs to their woe. 

Far different there from all that charmed before, 

The various terrors of that horrid shore : 

Those blazing suns that dart a downward ray, 

And fiercely shed intolerable day ; 

Those matted woods, where birds forgot to sing, 

But silent bats in drowsy clusters cling ; 

Those poisonous fields with rank luxuriance crowned, 

Where the dark scorpion gathers death around, 

Where, at each step, the stranger fears to wake 

The rattling terrors of the vengeful snake, 

Where crouching tigers wait their hapless prey, 

And savage men more murderous still than they ; 

While oft in whirls the mad tornado flies, 

Mingling the ravaged landscape with the skies. 

In this rather uninviting sketch, it must be confessed that 
it is not easy to recognize the natural features of that thriv- 
ing State, which possesses at the present day a thousand miles 
of railroad, and which, by her rapidly increasing population, 
her liberal endowment of colleges, schools, and churches, and 
all the other social institutions of a highly improved com- 
munity, is fast earning the name of the "Empire State" of 
the South. 

After repeating these lines, it is scarcely necessary to say 
that there was much ignorance and exaggeration prevailing 
in Europe as to the state of things in America. But a few 
years after Goldsmith's poem appeared, an event occurred 
which aroused and fixed the attention of the world. The revolt 
of the Colonies in 1775, the Declaration of Independence in 
1776, the battles of the Revolutionary War, the alliance with 
France, the acknowledgment of American Independence by 
the treaty of 1783, the establishment of a great federative 
republic, the illustrious career of Lafayette, the European rep- 
utation of Franklin, and, above all, the character of Wash- 
ington, gave to the United States a great and brilliant name 
in the family of nations. Thousands in every part of Europe 


then probably heard of America, with any distinct impres- 
sions, for the first time ; and they now heard of it as a region 
realizing the wildest visions. Hundreds in every walk of life 
began to resort to America, and especially ardent young men, 
who were dissatisfied with the political condition of Europe. 
Among these was your late venerable President, Albert Gal- 
latin, one of the most eminent men of the last generation, who 
came to this country before he attained his majority; and the 
late celebrated Sir Isambert Brunei, the architect of the Thames 
Tunnel. He informed me that he became a citizen of the State 
of New York before the adoption of the Federal Constitution, 
and that he made some surveys to ascertain the practicability 
of the great work which afterwards united the waters of Lake Erie 
with the waters of the Atlantic, and gave immortality to the 
name of your Clinton. 

Before the Revolution, the great West was shut even to 
the subjects of England. A royal proclamation of 1763 for- 
bade the extension of the settlements in North America beyond 
the Ohio. But without such a prohibition, the still unbroken 
power of the Indian tribes would have prevented any such 
extension. The successful result of the Revolutionary War did 
not materially alter the state of things in this respect. The 
native tribes were still formidable, and the British posts in the 
Northwestern Territory were retained. So little confidence was 
placed in the value of a title to land, even within the limits of the 
State of New York, that the enterprising citizens of Massachu- 
setts, Messrs. Gorham and Phelps, who bought six millions of 
acres of land on the Genesee River, shortly after the Peace, for 
a few cents the acre, were obliged to abandon the greater part 
of the purchase from the difficulty of finding under purchasers 
enough to enable them to meet the first installments. 

On one occasion, when Judge Gorham was musing in a state 
of mental depression on the failure of this magnificent speculation 
he was visited by a friend and townsman, who had returned from 
a journey to Canandaigua, then just laid out. This friend tried 
to cheer the Judge with a bright vision of the future growth of 
western New York. Kindling with his theme, he pointed to a 
son of Judge Gorham, who* was in the room, and added, "You 
and I shall not live to see the day, but that lad, if he reaches three 


score years and ten, will see a daily stage-coach running as far 
west as Canandaigua ! " That lad is still living. What he has seen 
in the shape of travel and conveyance in the State of New York, 
it is not necessary before this audience to say. 

It was the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, 
in 1789, which gave stability to the Union and confidence to 
the people. This was the Promethean fire, which kindled 
the body politic into vital action. It created a national force. 
The Indians on the southwest were pacified. On the north- 
western frontier the troops of the general government were at 
first defeated; but after the victory of Wayne, and the peace 
of Greeneville, in 1795, the British posts were surrendered, 
and the tide of emigration began to pour in. It was rather, 
however, from the older States than from foreign countries. 
The extensive region northwest of the Ohio had already re- 
ceived its political organization as a territory of the United 
States by the ever memorable Ordinance of 1787. 

While Providence was thus opening on this continent the 
broadest region that ever was made accessible to human prog- 
ress, want, or adventure, it happened that the kingdoms of 
Europe were shaken by the terrible convulsions incident to 
the French Revolution. France herself first, and afterwards 
the countries overrun by her revolutionary armies, poured 
forth their children by thousands. I believe there are no offi- 
cial returns of the number of immigrants to the United States 
at the time, but it was very large. Among them was M. de 
Talleyrand, the celebrated minister of every government in 
France, from that of the Directory, in 1797, to that of Louis 
Philippe, in whose reign he died. I saw at Peale's Museum, 
in Philadelphia, the original oath of allegiance, subscribed by 
him in I794. 1 Louis Philippe himself emigrated to this country, 

1 Since this lecture was delivered, I have been favored with a copy of this paper 
by Edward D. Ingraham, Esq., of Philadelphia. It is in the following words: 

I, Charles Maurice Talleyrand Perigord, formerly Administrator of the Depart- 
ment of Paris, son of Joseph Daniel de Talleyrand Perigord, a General of the 
Armies of France, born at Paris and arrived at Philadelphia from London, do 
swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Commonwealth of Penn- 
sylvania and to the United States of America, and that I will not at any time will- 
fully and knowingly do any matter or thing prejudicial to the freedom and inde- 
pendence thereof. CH> MAU> D TALLEYRAND P ERIGO RD. 


where he passed three years, and is well remembered by many 
persons still living. He habitually spoke with gratitude of the 
kindness which he experienced in every part of the Union. 

As yet, no acquisition of territory had been made by the 
United States beyond the limits of the British colonies; but 
in 1803 a most important step was taken in the purchase of 
Louisiana, by which our possessions were extended, though 
with an unsettled boundary both on the south and the north, 
to the Pacific Ocean. The War of 1812 reduced the Indian 
tribes in the Northwestern States ; and the campaigns of General 
Jackson a few years later produced the same effect on the 
southern frontier. Florida was acquired by treaty from Spain in 
1819; and the Indians in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi 
were removed to the west of the river Mississippi ten or twelve 
years later. Black Hawk's war in Wisconsin took place in 1833, 
and a series of Indian treaties, both before and after that event, 
extinguished the Indian title to all the land east of the Mississippi, 
and to considerable tracts west of that river. Texas was annexed 
to the Union in 1845, an d in 1848 New Mexico and California 
came into our possession. 

I have, as you perceive, run rapidly over these dates, com- 
pressing into one paragraph the starting points in the history 
of future commonwealths, simply in their bearing on the subject 
of immigration. These acquisitions, not inferior in extent to 
all that there was solid in the Roman conquests, have resulted 
in our possession of a zone of territory of the width of twenty 
degrees of latitude, stretching from ocean to ocean, and nearly 
equal in extent to the whole of Europe. 1 It is all subject to the 
power of the United States ; a portion of it has attained the 
civilization of the Old World, while other portions shade off 
through all degrees of culture, to the log-house of the frontier 
settler, the cabin of the trapper, and the wigwam of the savage. 
Within this vast domain there are millions of acres of fertile 
land, to be purchased at moderate prices, according to its position 
and its state of improvement, and there are hundreds of millions 
of acres in a state of nature, and gradually selling at the govern- 
ment price of a dollar and a quarter per acre. 

1 Square miles in the United States, 3,260,073 ; in Europe, 3,700, 971. Amer- 
ican Almanac for 1853, pp. 315 and 316. 


It is this which most strikes the European imagination. 
The Old World is nearly all appropriated by individuals. There 
are public domains in most foreign countries, but of comparatively 
small amount, and mostly forests. With this exception, every 
acre of land in Europe is private property, and in such countries 
as England, the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Italy, 
what little changes hands is sold only at a high price. I presume 
the number of landholders in England is far less than in the State 
of New York. In the course of the French Revolution the land 
has been greatly divided and subdivided in France and in Ger- 
many, and is now held in small farms ; but owing to the limited 
quantity of purchasable land, these farms, when sold, are sold 
only at high prices. Generally speaking, the mass of the in- 
habitants of Europe regard the ability to hold and occupy a 
considerable landed property as the summit of human fortune. 
The suggestion that there is a country beyond the ocean, where 
fertile land is to be purchased, in any quantity, at a dollar and a 
quarter per acre, and that dollar and a quarter to be earned in 
many parts of the country by the labor of a single day, strikes 
them as the tales of Aladdin's lamp or AH Baba's cave would 
strike us, if we thought they were true. They forget the costs 
and sacrifices of leaving home, the ocean to be traversed, the 
weary pilgrimage in the land of strangers after their arrival. They 
see nothing with the mind's eye but the "land of promise" ; they 
reflect upon nothing but the fact, that there is a region on the 
earth's surface where a few days' unskilled labor will purchase 
the fee simple of an ample farm. 

Such an attraction would be irresistible under any circum- 
stances to the population of an old country, where, as I have 
just said, the land is all appropriated, and to be purchased, 
in any considerable quantity, only at prices which put its 
acquisition beyond the thought of the masses. But this is 
but half the tale. It must not be forgotten that in this ancient 
and venerable Europe, whose civilization is the growth of two 
thousand years, where some of the luxurious refinements of 
life are carried to a perfection of which we have scarcely an idea 
in this country, a considerable part of the population, even in 
the most prosperous regions, pass their lives in a state but one 
remove from starvation, poorly fed, poorly clothed, poorly 


housed, without education, without political privileges, with- 
out moral culture. The average wages of the agricultural 
laborer in England were estimated a year ago at 95. 6d. ster- 
ling about $2.37^- per week. The condition of the work- 
ing population on the continent of Europe is in no degree 
better, if as good. They eat but little animal food either in 
England or on the Continent. We form romantic notions at a 
distance of countries that abound in wine and oil; but in the 
best governed states of Italy, in Tuscany, for instance, the 
peasantry, though they pass their lives in the vineyard and the 
olive orchard, consume the fruit of neither. I have seen the 
Tuscan peasants, unable to bear the cost of the most ordinary 
wine from the vineyards in which their cottages are embow- 
ered, and which can be bought at retail for a cent a flask, pour- 
ing water over the grape skins as they come from the press, 
and making that their beverage. 

Even for persons in comparatively easy circumstances in 
Europe, there are strong inducements to emigrate to America. 
Most of the governments are arbitrary, the taxes are oppres- 
sive, the exactions of military service onerous in the extreme. 
Add to all this the harassing insecurity of life. For sixty or 
seventy years the Continent has been one wide theater of 
scarcely intermitted convulsion. Every country in it has been 
involved in war; there is scarcely one that has not passed 
through a revolution. We read of events like these in the 
newspapers, we look upon them with curiosity as articles of 
mere intelligence, or they awaken images of our own revolu- 
tion, which we regard only with -joyous associations. Far dif- 
ferent the state of things in crowded Europe, of which the fair- 
est fields are trampled in every generation by mighty armies 
into bloody mire ! Dazzled by the brilliancy of the military 
exploits of which we read at a safe distance, we forget the 
anxieties of those who grow up within the sound of the can- 
non's roar, whose prospects in life are ruined, their business 
broken up, their little accumulations swept away by the bank- 
ruptcy of governments or the general paralysis of the industry 
of the country, their sons torn from them by ruthless conscrip- 
tions, the means of educating and bringing up their families 
consumed in a day by disastrous emergencies. Terrified by 


the recent experience or the tradition of these miseries, thou- 
sands emigrate to the land of promise, flying before, not merely 
the presence, but the "rumor of war," which the Great Teacher 
places on a level with the reality. 

Ever and anon some sharp specific catastrophe gives an in- 
tense activity to emigration. When France, in the lowest 
depth of her Revolution, plunged to a lower depth of suffering 
and crime, when the Reign of Terror was enthroned, and when 
everything in any way conspicuous, whether for station, wealth, 
talent, or service, of every age and of either sex, from the crowned 
monarch to the gray-haired magistrate and the timid maiden, 
was brought to the guillotine, hundreds of thousands escaped 
at once from the devoted kingdom. The convulsions of San 
Domingo drove most of the European population of that island 
to the United States. But beyond everything else which has 
been witnessed in modern times, the famine which prevailed a 
few years since in Ireland gave a terrific impulse to emigration. 
Not less, probably, than one million of her inhabitants left her 
shores within five years. The population of this island, as highly 
favored in the gifts of nature as any spot on the face of the earth, 
has actually diminished more than 1,800,000 since the famine 
year ; 1 the only example, perhaps, in history, of a similar result 
in a country not visited by foreign war or civil convulsion. The 
population ought, in the course of nature, to have increased 
within ten years by at least that amount ; and in point of fact, 
between 1840 and 1850, our own population increased by more 
than six millions. 

This prodigious increase of the population of the United 
States is partly owing to the emigration from foreign coun- 
tries, which has taken place under the influence of the causes 
general and specific, to which I have alluded. Of late years, 
from three to four hundred thousand immigrants are registered 
at the several customhouses, as arriving in this country in the 
course of a year. It is probable that a third as many more 
enter by the Canadian frontier. Not much less than two mil- 
lions of immigrants are supposed to have entered the United 
States in the last ten years ; and it is calculated that there are 

1 London Quarterly Review for December, 1851, p. 191. 


living at the present day in the United States five millions of 
persons, foreigners who have immigrated since 1790, and their 

There is nothing in the annals of mankind to be compared 
to this; but there is a series of great movements which may 
be contrasted with it. In the period of a thousand years, 
which began about three or four hundred years before our 
Saviour, the Roman republic and empire were from time to 
time invaded by warlike races from the North and East, who 
burst with overwhelming force upon the South and West of 
Europe, and repeatedly carried desolation to the gates of 
Rome. These multitudinous invaders were not armies of 
men, they were in reality nations of hostile emigrants. They 
came with their wives, with their " young barbarians," with 
their Scythian cavalry, and their herds of cattle ; and they 
came with no purpose of going away. The animus manendi 
was made up before they abandoned their ice-clad homes ; 
they left their Arctic allegiance behind them. They found 
the sunny banks of the Arno and the Rhone more pleasant 
than those of the Don and the Volga. Unaccustomed to the 
sight of any tree more inviting than the melancholy fir and 
the stunted birch, its branches glittering with snowy crystals, 
brought up under a climate where the generous fruits are un- 
known, these children of the North were not so much fasci- 
nated as bewildered "in the land of the citron and myrtle"; 
they gazed with delighted astonishment at the spreading elm, 
festooned with Falernian clusters ; they clutched, with a kind 
of frantic joy, at the fruit of the fig tree and the olive ; at 
the melting peach, the luscious plum, the golden orange, and 
the pomegranate, whose tinted cheek outblushes everything 
but the living carnation of youthful love. 

With grim delight the brood of winter view 
A brighter day and heavens of azure hue, 
Scent the new fragrance of the breathing rose, 
And quaff the pendent vintage as it grows. 

By the fortune of war, single detachments and even mighty 
armies frequently suffered defeat ; but their place was imme- 
diately taken by new hordes, which fell upon declining Rome 


as the famished wolves in one of Catlin's pictures fall upon 
an aged buffalo in our Western prairies. The imperial mon- 
ster, powerful even in his decrepitude, would often scatter 
their undisciplined array with his iron tusks, and trample them 
by thousands under his brazen feet ; but when he turned back, 
torn and bleeding, to his seven hills, tens of thousands came 
howling from the Northern forests, who sprang on his throat 
and buried their fangs in his lacerated side. Wherever they 
conquered, and in the end they conquered everywhere, they 
established themselves on the soil, invited newcomers, and 
from their union with the former inhabitants, the nations of 
the South and West of Europe, at the present day, for the 
most part, trace their descent. 

We know but little of the numbers thus thrown in upon 
the Roman republic and empire in the course of eight or ten 
centuries. They were, no doubt, greatly exaggerated by the 
panic fear of the inhabitants ; and the pride of the Roman 
historians would lead them to magnify the power before which 
their own legions had so often quailed. But when we consider 
the difficulty of subsisting a large number of persons in a march 
through an unfriendly country, and this at a time when much of 
the now cultivated portion of Europe was covered with forest 
and swamp, I am disposed to think that the hosts which for a 
succession of centuries overran the Roman empire did not in the 
aggregate exceed in numbers the immigrants that have arrived in 
the United States since 1790. In other words, I am inclined to 
believe, that within the last sixty years the Old World has poured 
in upon the United States a number of persons as great, with 
their natural increase, as Asia sent into Europe in these armed 
migrations of barbarous races. 

Here, of course, the parallel ends. The races that invaded 
Europe came to lay waste and to subjugate; the hosts that 
cross the Atlantic are peaceful immigrants. The former 
burst upon the Roman empire, and by oft-repeated strokes 
beat it to the ground. The immigrants to America from all 
countries come to cast in their lot with the native citizens, 
and to share with us this great inheritance of civil and religious 
liberty. The former were ferocious barbarians, half clad in 
skins, speaking strange tongues, worshipping strange gods with 


bloody rites. The latter are the children of the countries from 
which the first European settlers of this continent proceeded, 
and belong, with us, to the great common family of Christendom. 
The former destroyed the culture of the ancient world, and it 
was only after a thousand years that a better civilization grew 
up from its ruins. The millions who have established themselves 
in America within sixty years are, from the moment of their 
arrival, gradually absorbed into the mass of the population, 
conforming to the laws and molding themselves to the manners 
of the country, and contributing their share to its prosperity and 

It is a curious coincidence, that, as the first mighty wave 
of the hostile migration that burst upon Europe before the 
time of our Saviour consisted of tribes belonging to the great 
Celtic race, the remains of which, identified by their original 
dialect, are still found in Brittany, in Wales, in the Highlands of 
Scotland, and especially in Ireland, so by far the greater portion 
of the new and friendly immigration to the United States con- 
sists of persons belonging to the same ardent, true-hearted, and 
too often oppressed race. I have heard, in the villages of Wales 
and the Highlands of Scotland, the Gospel preached in sub- 
stantially the same language in which Brennus uttered his 
haughty summons to Rome, and in which the mystic songs of 
the Druids were chanted in the depths of the primeval forests of 
France and England, in the time of Julius Caesar. It is still 
spoken by thousands of Scotch, Welsh, and Irish immigrants, in 
all parts of the United States. 1 

1 A learned and friendly correspondent, of Welsh origin, is of opinion that I 
have fallen into a " gross error, in classing the Irish, Welsh, and Scotch as one 
race of people, or Celts, whose language is the same. The slightest acquaintance," 
he adds, "with the Welsh and Irish languages would convince you that they were 
totally different. A Welshman cannot understand one word of Irish, neither can 
the latter understand one word of Welsh." 

In a popular view of the subject this may be correct, in like manner as the 
Anglo-Saxon, the Teutonic, and Scandinavian races would, in a popular use of the 
terms, be considered as distinct races, speaking languages mutually unintelligible. 
But the etymologist regards their languages as substantially the same ; and ethno- 
graphically these nations belong to one and the same stock. 

There are certainly many points, in reference to the ancient history of the Celts, 
on which learned men greatly differ, and at which it was impossible that I should 
ever glance in the superficial allusions which my limits admitted. But there is no 
point on which ethnographers are better agreed, than that the Bretons, Welsh, Irish, 


This great Celtic race is one of the most remarkable that 
has appeared in history. Whether it belongs to that extensive 
Indo-European family of nations, which, in ages before the dawn 
of history, took up a line of march in two columns from Lower 
India, and, moving westward by both a northern and a southern 
route, finally diffused itself over Western Asia, Northern Africa, 
and the greater part of Europe ; or whether, as others suppose, 
the Celtic race belongs to a still older stock, and was itself driven 
down upon the South and into the West of Europe by the over- 
whelming force of the Indo-Europeans, is a question which we 
have no time at present to discuss. However it may be decided, 
it would seem that for the first time, as far as we are acquainted 
with the fortunes of this interesting race,, they have found 
themselves in a really prosperous condition in this country. 
Driven from the soil in the West of Europe, to which their 
fathers clung for two thousand years, they have at length, 
and for the first time in their entire history, found a real home 
in a land of strangers. Having been told, in the frightful language 
of political economy, that at the daily table which Nature spreads 
for the human family there is no cover laid for them in Ireland, 
they have crossed the ocean, to find occupation, shelter, and 
bread on a foreign but friendly soil. 

This " Celtic Exodus," as it has been aptly called, is to all 
the parties immediately connected with it one of the most 
important events of the day. To the emigrants themselves 
it may be regarded as a passing from death to life. It will 
benefit Ireland by reducing a surplus population, and restor- 
ing a sounder and juster relation of capital and labor. It 
will benefit the laboring classes in England, where wages have 
been kept down to the starvation point by the struggle between 
the native population and the inhabitants of the sister island 
for that employment and food of which there is not enough for 

and Highland Scotch belong to the Celtic race, representing, no doubt, different 
national families, which acquired each its distinctive dialect at a very early period. 
Dr. Prichard (the leading authority on questions of this kind), after comparing 
the remains of the ancient Celtic language, as far as they can now be traced in 
proper names, says, "We must hence conclude that the dialect of the ancient 
Gauls was nearly allied to the Welsh, and much more remotely related to the Erse 
and Gaelic."- "Researches into the Physical History of Mankind," Vol. Ill, 
p. 135. See also Latham's " English Language," p. 74. 


both. This benefit will extend from England to ourselves, and 
will lessen the pressure of the competition which our labor is 
obliged to sustain, with the ill-paid labor of Europe. In addition 
to all this, the constant influx into America of stout and efficient 
hands supplies the greatest want in a new country, which is 
that of labor, gives value to land, and facilitates the execution 
of every species of private enterprise and public work. 

I am not insensible to the temporary inconveniences which 
are to be offset against these advantages, on both sides of the 
water. Much suffering attends the emigrant there, on his 
passage, and after his arrival. It is possible that the value 
of our native labor may have been depressed by too sudden 
and extensive a supply from abroad; and it is certain that 
our asylums and almshouses are crowded with foreign inmates, 
and that the resources of public and private benevolence have 
been heavily drawn upon. These are considerable evils, but they 
have perhaps been exaggerated. 

It must be remembered, in the first place, that the immi- 
gration daily pouring in from Europe is by no means a pauper 
immigration. On the contrary, it is already regarded with 
apprehension abroad, as occasioning a great abstraction of 
capital. How the case may be in Great Britain and Ireland, 
I have seen no precise statement ; but it is asserted, on appar- 
ently good grounds, that the consumption and abstraction of 
capital caused by immigration from Germany amounts annu- 
ally to twenty millions of rix-dollars, or fifteen millions of our 
currency. 1 

No doubt, foreign immigration is attended with an influx 
of foreign pauperism. In reference to this, I believe your 
system of public relief is better here in New York than ours 
in Massachusetts, in which, however, we are making impor- 
tant changes. It is said, that, owing to some defect in our 
system, or its administration, we support more than our 
share of needy foreigners. They are sent in upon us from other 

1 In an instructive article relative to the German emigration in Otto Hiibner's 
" Jahrbuch fiir Volkswirthschaft und Statistik," the numbers who emigrated from 
Germany, from 1846 to 1851 inclusive, are estimated to have amounted to an 
annual average of 96,676, and the amount of capital abstracted by them from the 
country to an average of 19,370,333 .rix-dollars (about fifteen million Spanish 
dollars) per annum. 


States. New York, as the greatest seaport, must be exposed 
also to more than her proportionate share of the burden. How- 
ever the evil arises, it may no doubt be mitigated by judicious 
legislation ; and in the meantime Massachusetts and New York 
might do a worse thing with a portion of their surplus means than 
feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give a home to the stranger, 
and kindle the spark of reason in the mind of the poor foreign 
lunatic, even though that lunatic may have been (as I am 
ashamed, for the credit of humanity, to say has happened) set 
on shore in the night from a coasting vessel, and found in the 
morning in the fields, half dead with cold, and hunger, and fright. 

But you say, "They are foreigners." Well, do we owe no 
duties to foreigners? What was the founder of Virginia, when 
a poor Indian girl threw herself between him and the war- 
club of her father, and saved his life at the risk of her own? 
What were the Pilgrim Fathers, when the friendly savage, if 
we must call him so, met them with his little vocabulary of 
kindness, learned among the fishermen on the Grand Bank, - 
"Welcome, Englishmen"? "They are foreigners." And suppose 
they are ? Was not the country all but ready, a year or two ago, 
to plunge into a conflict with the military despotisms of the East 
of Europe, in order to redress the wrongs of the oppressed races 
who feed their flocks on the slopes of the Carpathians, and pasture 
their herds upon the tributaries of the Danube, and do we talk 
of the hardship of relieving destitute foreigners, whom the hand 
of God has guided across the ocean and conducted to our doors ? 

Must we learn a lesson of benevolence from the ancient 
heathen? Let us then learn it. The whole theater at Rome 
stood up and shouted their sympathetic applause, when the 
actor in one of Terence's plays exclaimed, "I am a man ; nothing 
that is human is foreign to me." 

I am not indifferent to the increase of the public burdens; 
but the time has been when I have felt a little proud of the 
vast sums paid in the United States for the relief of poor 
immigrants from Europe. It is an annual sum, I have no 
doubt, equal to the interest on the foreign debt of the States 
which have repudiated their obligations. When I was in 
London, a few years ago, I received a letter from one of the 
interior counties of England, telling me that they had in their 


house of correction an American seaman, (or a person who 
pretended to be,) who from their account seemed to be both 
pauper and rogue. They were desirous of being rid of him, 
and kindly offered to place him at my disposal. Although 
he did not bid fair to be a very valuable acquisition, I wrote 
back that he might be sent to London, where, if he was a sailor, 
he could be shipped by the American Consul to the United 
States, if not, to be disposed of in some other way. I ventured 
to add the suggestion, that if her Majesty's Minister at Washing- 
ton were applied to in a similar way by the overseers of the poor 
and wardens of the prisons in the United States, he would be 
pretty busily occupied. But I really felt pleased, at a time when 
my own little State of Massachusetts was assisting from ten to 
twelve thousand destitute British subjects annually, to be able 
to relieve the British empire, on which the sun never sets, of the 
only American pauper quartered upon it. 


THERE is nothing so dry as statistics, nothing which falls so 
dully on the listening ear as the recitation of many figures, 
not figures of speech but of enumeration. It is also very difficult 
to grasp the important statistics by merely hearing them read, 
and yet it is impossible to deal with the question of immigration 
without them. To comprehend the subject at all the very first 
step is to realize what the number of immigrants to this country 
has been, and, further, to trace by the figures the changes which 
have occurred in the character and origin of the immigration. I 
have here a table which shows the number of immigrants to 
this country during the past forty years, that is, since the close 
of the Civil War, and I also have tables showing the countries 
from which the immigrants come and which reveal the changes 
of nationality, or rather the change in the proportion of the 
nationalities of which our immigration has been composed. I 
will not read to you these long lists of figures because it would 
simply be confusing and they can really only be properly studied 
in detail when printed, as I hope they may be. I shall confine 
myself to an analysis of them by which you will be enabled to 
understand what they signify. In the first place, the number 
of foreign immigrants to this country during the past forty years 
reaches the enormous total of 19,001,195. Since the formation of 
the Government, twenty-four millions of people, speaking in 
round numbers, have come into the United States as immigrants, 
and of that number, still speaking in round numbers, twenty- 
two millions have come from Europe. Of the twenty-two mil- 
lions from Europe, seven and a half millions were from the 
United Kingdom, over four millions of these being from Ireland, 
and nearly three millions from England ; over five millions were 
from Germany, and nearly a million and a half were from Norway 

1 Reprinted from address delivered at Boston City Club, March 20, 1900. 



and Sweden, two and one half millions each from Austria- 
Hungary and Italy, and two millions from Russia, including 

During the decade 1880-1890 there was for the first time 
large immigration from Italy, Austria-Hungary, and Russia. 

In the decade 1890-1900 there was a marked reduction in 
arrivals from Germany, Ireland, England, Scotland, and Norway 
and Sweden, and great increase from Italy, Austria-Hungary, 
and Russia. 

Immigration from France, never large (average about five 
thousand a year), decreased in the decade 1890-1900, but has 
since increased. 

The first point to be observed here is the size of this huge total 
of nineteen millions. It is safe to say that there has never been 
in the history of the world such a movement of peoples as these 
figures represent. Neither ancient nor modern history discloses 
any such migration as this. The great influx of barbarians into 
Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire, so far as we can 
determine from all extant accounts, was small compared to the 
immigration to this country within the lifetime of a single gen- 
eration. Moreover, the largest movements, numerically speak- 
ing, at the time of the dissolution of the Roman Empire, were 
flung back by the forcible resistance of the people of Europe, 
where Romans and Teutons united to arrest the advance of Huns, 
Tartars, and Scythians. These were all, like our own, voluntary 
migrations, although, unlike ours, they were armed invaders 
instead of peaceful citizens. On the other hand, there is cer- 
tainly no record of any forced migration which can compare for 
a moment in numbers with the voluntary immigration to this 
country. Probably the largest forced immigration which the 
world has ever seen was that which brought negroes from Africa 
to the two Americas, and yet in all the two centuries or more of 
the African slave trade, the total numbers of negroes actually 
brought to the Americas would fall far short of the millions who 
have come to the United States in the last forty years. Such a 
displacement of population, and such a movement of peoples as 
this is in itself a historic event of great magnitude deserving the 
most careful consideration ; but what we are concerned with is its 
effect upon, and its meaning to, the people of the United States 


and the future of our country. The problem which confronts 
us is whether we are going to be able to assimilate this vast body 
of people, to indoctrinate them with our ideals of government, 
and with our political habits, and also whether we can main- 
tain the wages and the standards of living among our working- 
men in the presence of such a vast and rapid increase of popu- 
lation. In what I am about to say I have no reflections to cast 
upon the people of any race or any nationality, and I say this 
because it is the practice of the demagogue who neither knows 
nor cares anything about the seriousness of this question to en- 
deavor to make political capital among voters of foreign birth 
by proclaiming that any effort to deal intelligently with the 
question is directed against them individually. The question 
is just as important to the citizen of foreign birth who took out 
his naturalization papers yesterday and thus cast in his lot and 
the future hopes of his children with the fortunes of the United 
States, as it is to the man whose ancestors settled here two or 
three hundred years ago. To all true Americans, no matter what 
their race or birthplace, this question is of vast moment in the 
presence of such a vast and rapid increase of population. I am 
not here to-night to make arguments or appeals, still less to reflect 
upon any people or any race either here or elsewhere. I shall 
deal simply with the conditions of the problem and the facts of 
the case, and leave it to you to draw your own inferences and 
determine what in your opinion ought to be done. 

The thirteen colonies which asserted their independence and 
compelled England after a long war to recognize it, were chiefly 
populated by men of the English race, immigrants from England 
and from the Lowlands of Scotland. These people were in an 
overwhelming majority in all the colonies, and especially in 
New England. In New York there were the Dutch who had 
founded the colony. They were not very numerous compared 
with the entire population of all the colonies and were practically 
confined to their original settlement. Of kindred race with the 
predominant English they were a strong, vigorous people and 
furnished an element of great importance and value in the colonial 

In the eighteenth century there was an immigration of Hugue- 
not Frenchmen which was scattered all through the various 


colonies, and which, although comparatively small in numbers, 
was of a most admirable quality. There was also a considerable 
immigration of Germans from the Palatinate, and of people from 
the North of Ireland known generally as Scotch-Irish. These 
Germans and Scotch-Irish settled chiefly in Western Pennsyl- 
vania, Virginia, and North Carolina. They were good robust 
stocks and added to the strength as well as the number of .the 
population. Immigration to the colonies from other sources 
than those which I have mentioned was trifling, and, speaking 
bfoadly^the thirteen colonies, at the time of the Revolution, 
had an overwhelming majority of inhabitants who were English 
speaking and who came from Great Britain and Ireland. It 
was this population which fought the Revolution and adopted 
the Constitution of the United States. Our political institutions 
and bur governments, both State and National, were founded 
by and for these people, and in accord with their ideals and 
their traditions. They were a homogeneous people, and the 
institutions which they thus established were essentially their 
own, were thoroughly understood by them, and suited them in 
every respect. The soundness of our political system has been 
demonstrated by more than a hundred years of existence and 
by the manner in which it has surmounted great strains and 
perils. But the population of the country, in the meantime, 
has changed, largely by the processes of immigration, and one 
of the great problems, both in the present and in the future, is 
to determine whether these political institutions, founded more 
than a century ago, can be adapted to, and adopted by, the 
population of the United States as it is to-day constituted. 

Let me now review very briefly the changes in our immi- 
gration. The first great immigration was that from Ireland, 
which began in the forties after the Great Famine, and which has 
continued, although in diminishing numbers, to the present 
time. This Irish immigration came from all parts of the island 
and was no longer confined principally to the North as it had 
been in the Colonial days. The Irish spoke the same language 
as the people of the United States, they had the same traditions 
oi ' government and they had for centuries associated and inter- 
married with the people of Great Britain. Without dwelling 
on their proved value as an element of the population, it is enough 


to say that they presented no difficulties of assimilation, and 
they adopted and sustained our system of government as easily 
as the people of the earlier settlement. At a slightly later period 
began the great German immigration to the United States, 
followed in time by the Scandinavian. There could not be a 
better addition to any population than was furnished by both 
these people. They spoke, it is true, a different language, but 
they were of the same race as the people who had made them- 
selves masters of Great Britain, so they assimilated at once 
with the people of the United States, for the process was merely 
a reblending of kindred stocks. But the German and the Scandi- 
navian immigration has diminished of late years, and, relatively 
to the other races which have recently begun to come, has di- 
minished very greatly. Later than any of these was the immigra- 
tion of French Canadians, but which has assumed large propor- 
tions and has become a strong and most valuable element of 
our population. But the French of Canada scarcely come within 
the subject we are considering because they are hardly to be 
classed as immigrants in the accepted sense. They represent 
one of the oldest settlements on this continent. They have 
been, in the broad sense, Americans for generations, and their 
coming to the United States is merely a movement of Americans 
across an imaginary line from one part of America to another. 

Within the last twenty years, however, there has been a great 
change in the proportion of the various nationalities immigrating 
from Europe to the United States. The immigrants from Great 
Britain and Ireland, and from Germany and Scandinavia have 
gone down in numbers as compared with immigrants from coun- 
tries which, until very recent years, sent no immigrants to 
America. We have never received, and do not now receive, any 
immigration from Spain, or any considerable immigration from 
France and Belgium. The great growth in recent years in our 
immigration has been from Italy, from Poland, Hungary, and 
Russia, from Eastern Europe, from subjects of the Sultan, and 
is now extending to the inhabitants of Asia Minor. With the 
exception of the Italians these people have never been amal- 
gamated with, or brought in contact with, the English-speaking 
people, or with those of France, Germany, Holland, and Scandi- 
navia who have built up the United States. I except the Italians 


not merely because their noble literature and splendid art are 
a part of our inheritance but because they are conspicuously 
one of the countries which belong to what is known as Western 
civilization. They, like ourselves, are the heirs of the civilization 
of Ancient Rome, and until one has traveled in Eastern Europe 
and studied the people one does not realize how much this 

I am not concerned here with whether the civilization of Rome 
was better than that of Byzantium, or of the Orient, or of China. 
I merely state the fact that the civilization of Rome was a widely 
different civilization from the others, and that it was the civiliza- 
tion whose ideas we have inherited. In Eastern Europe the people 
fell heirs, not to the civilization of Rome, but to that of Byzan- 
tium, of the Greeks of the Lower Empire. As an example of 
what I mean, the idea of patriotism, that is, of devotion to one's 
country, is Roman, while the idea of devotion to the Emperor, 
the head of the State, is Byzantine. I point out these differences 
merely as conditions of the problem of assimilation which we 
have presented to us. 

I wish next to call your attention to the manner in which this 
question of immigration has been dealt with by the successive 
laws passed by Congress. Let me begin by making clear one 
point which I think is sometimes overlooked. Every independent 
nation has, and must have, an absolute right to determine who 
shall come into the country ; and, secondly, who shall become 
a part of its citizenship, and on what terms. We cannot, in fact, 
conceive of an independent nation which does not possess this 
power, for if one nation can compel another to admit its people, 
the nation thus compelled is a subject and dependent nation. 
The power of the American people to determine who shall come 
into this country, and on what terms, is absolute, and by the 
American people I mean its citizens at any given moment, 
whether native born or naturalized, whose votes control the 
Government. I state this explicitly, because there seems to be 
a hazy idea in some minds that the inhabitants of other countries 
have a right, an inalienable right, to come into the United States. 
No one has a right to come into the United States, or become 
part of its citizenship, except by permission of the people of the 
United States. The power, therefore, of Congress as representing 


\ all the people, is absolute, and they can make any laws they deem 
wise, from complete prohibition down, in regard to immigration. 
" The laws regulating immigration are of two kinds, restric- 
tive and selective. The only restrictive legislation in regard 
to immigration into the United States is that which is to be found 
in the Chinese Exclusion Acts. All the rest of our immigration 
legislation, although it has a somewhat restrictive effect very 
often, is purely selective in character. We have determined by 
law that the criminal and the diseased, that women imported 
for immoral purposes and laborers brought here under contract, 
shall be excluded, and we also undertake to exclude what are 
known as "assisted immigrants," those whose expenses are paid 
for them by others, whether individuals, corporations, or govern- 
ments, because it is believed that such immigrants are paupers 
and likely to become a public charge. I will give you the figures 
which show the results of these provisions of our statutes, and 
which are as follows : 








2 OIO 


1 3 

2 7OO 

1807 . 




1, 6l7 

1898 .... 

2 261 



7 O3O 

1800 . 






2 Q74. 





2 70S 



3 Cl6 


5 812 

I 086 

i 871 

8 760 

1 004. 

A 708 

I ^OI 

I 6(K 



7 808 

I 164 

2 418 

1 1 480 


7 060 

2 314. 

3 O4O 



6 866 

I 4.34 


I 3 064 





In considering these statistics, it must be remembered that 
these laws are largely preventive and that the number of diseased, 
pauper, and criminal immigrants actually excluded and deported 
are only a very small part of these classes who would come if 
there were no such laws, but who never leave Europe for the 
United States because these laws exist. 


Of the wisdom of all these measures which shut out the undesir- 
able immigrants just described, I do not think there is much 
question anywhere ; but there is great resistance to their enforce- 
ment, especially from interested parties, like steamship com- 
panies and large employers, who desire an unlimited supply of 
cheap labor. So far as the diseased immigrants go, the laws are 
pretty thoroughly enforced, although there is a continual pressure, 
for sentimental reasons, to set the law aside and admit the physi- 
cally unfit in special cases, which constantly recur. To those 
who resist our immigration laws and who strive to make polit- 
ical capital by opposing them, as well as to all law-abiding and 
liberty-loving Americans, I would, in this connection, point 
out some of the results of our still inadequate statutes and of our 
inefficient enforcement of those which exist. Within the past 
few weeks we have seen a beloved priest devoted to good works 
brutally murdered, while in the performance of his sacred func- 
tions, by an alien immigrant. We have seen a murderous assault 
by an alien immigrant upon the Chief of Police of a great city, 
not to avenge any personal wrong, but because he represented 
law and order. Every day we read in the newspapers of savage 
murders by members of secret societies composed of alien immi- 
grants. Can we doubt, in the presence of such horrible facts 
as these, the need of stringent laws and rigid enforcement, to 
exclude the criminals and the anarchists of foreign countries 
from the United States ? The exclusion of criminals is now very 
imperfect, and one of the efforts of the Immigration Commission 
is to get sufficient information to enable us to make laws on this 
all-important point which shall be effective. The laws against 
contract labor are constantly evaded, but the immigration act 
passed last year provided an annual appropriation of $50,000 
which is to be used in the enforcement of the clause excluding 
contract laborers, the importance of which cannot be overesti- 
mated. The laws against assisted immigrants are also, I am sorry 
to say, in a great measure ineffective, owing to the ease of eva- 
sion; and here again, we hope, by the investigations of the 
Immigration Commission, to secure information which shall 
enable us to make decided improvements in this direction. 

The question of immigration is emphatically one of a per- 
manent character. There can be no finality in our legislation, 


which must, in the nature of the case, be constantly open to 
improvement in its provisions and in administrative arrange- 

^ments. There is also a growing and constantly active demand 
for more restrictive legislation. This demand rests on two 
grounds, both equally important. One is the effect upon the 
quality of our citizenship caused by the rapid introduction of 
this vast and practically unrestricted immigration, and the other, 
the effect of this immigration upon rates of wages and the stand- 

v ard of living among our working people. The first ground is 
too large and too complex to be discussed in a brief address ; but 
the second is so obvious that it is easy to make it understood in 
a few words. I have always regarded high wages and high 
standards of living for our working people as absolutely necessary 
to the success of our form of government, which is a representa- 
tive democracy. It is idle to suppose that those rates of wages 
can be maintained, and those standards of living be held up to 
the point where they ought to be kept, if we throw our labor 
market open to countless hordes of cheaper labor from all parts 
of the globe. This incompatibility between American standards 
of living and unrestricted immigration became apparent to 
the great mass of our people in the case of the Chinese, and the 
result was the Chinese Exclusion Acts. But what applies to the 
Chinese applies equally to all Asiatic labor. We have heard a 
great deal lately about Japanese immigration, but it is not a 
subject which ought to lead, or which will lead, to any ill-feeling 
between the two countries. Japan, now, by Imperial edicts, 
excludes workingmen of all nations, except under strict restric- 
tions in a few of what are known as Treaty Ports, and she excludes 
the Chinese altogether. Japan does not expect, and no nation 
can expect, that she should have the right to force her people 
on another nation, and there is no more cause for offense in the 
desire of our people in the Western States to exclude Japanese 
immigrants than there is in the Japanese edicts which now exclude 
our working people from Japan. Moreover, the sentiment of 
our people is not peculiar to the United States. It is, if anything, 
more fervent in British Columbia than in California. The people 
of Australia exclude the Chinese just as we do, and it may as 
well be frankly stated that the white race will not admit Asiatic 
labor to compete with their own in their own countries. Nothing 


is more fatal, in this connection, than to make trite economic 
arguments and talk about the survival of the fittest. The white 
race of Western America, whether in Canada or in the United 
States, will not suffer the introduction of Asiatic labor, and as 
for the saying "the survival of the fittest," the people who use 
that phrase never complete it. The whole statement is "the 
survival of the fittest to survive," which is something very dif- 
ferent from the survival of what is abstractly the best. If I may 
use an illustration employed by Mr. Speaker Reed, I can make 
my point clear to your minds. The bull of Bashan is always 
spoken of as a singularly noble animal, and the little minnow, 
or shiner, which you can see in shallow water anywhere on our 
coast, is a much lower form of life : but if you cast the bull of 
Bashan and the minnow together into the middle of the Atlantic 
Ocean, the bull will drown and the minnow will survive in that 
environment. Yet is the bull of Bashan none the less the nobler 
animal. In the environment of Chinese labor, our labor could 
not long survive as we desire it to exist, and, therefore, by an 
overmastering instinct, our people of the West are determined 
not to admit Asiatic labor to this country, whether it is Chinese, 
Japanese, or Hindoo. I think that by and by our working people 
of the Eastern States will begin to question whether they desire 
to have Arabs, who I see are planning to come in large numbers, 
and other people from Asia Minor and the west of Asia, pour 
into this country. I am not here to argue this question, but 
merely to call attention to some facts for your consideration, 
and this ominous fact which I have just mentioned is one. 

Many people believe that we should also go a step further 
in our general legislation, and add ignorance to poverty, disease, 
and criminality as a valid ground for exclusion. Congress passed 
a bill containing a provision of this sort, which was vetoed by 
Mr. Cleveland. The same provision has come up again and again, 
and has passed the Senate more than once. Those who advocate 
it maintain that it excludes in practice, and with few exceptions, 
only undesirable immigrants. Here, again, I shall not attempt 
to argue the question with you, but will merely point out the 
number of persons who would have been excluded since 1896 
if the illiterates over fourteen years of age had been thrown out. 
During that period, as shown by the table which I shall give, 


the illiterates who, by their own admission, could neither read 
nor write in any language, numbered 1,829,320. The figures 
in detail are as follows : 

1896 83,196 

1897 44,580 

1898 44,773 

1899 61,468 

1900 . . 95,673 

1901 120,645 

1902 165,105 

1903 189,008 

1904 172,856 

1905 239,091 

1906 269,823 

1907 343,402 


The only thing I desire to say on this point is, that nothing 
is more unfounded than the statement that this exclusion is 
aimed at any race or any class. It is aimed at no one but the 
ignorant, just as the provision in regard to the diseased immi- 
grants is aimed only at the diseased ; but it is unquestionably re- 
strictive, and it therefore meets with the bitter resistance of 
the steamship companies, from whom, directly or indirectly, 
come nine tenths of all the agitation and opposition to laws 
affecting immigration. 

I have tried in all I have said to lay before you the statistics, 
the conditions, the facts, and the past results involved in this 
great question. As I have already said more than once, I shall 
make no argument and draw no conclusion. I leave it to you to 
make your own inferences and reach your own decisions. I 
say only this, that to every workingman and to every citi- 
zen of the United States, whether native born or naturalized, 
to whom the quality of our citizenship and the future of our 
country are dear, there is no question before the American people 
which can be compared with this in importance ; none to which 
they should give such attention or upon which they should seek 
to express themselves and to guide their representatives more 
explicitly and more earnestly. 





IN POPULAR discussions of the immigration question it is 
often said that all who have come to this continent since its 
discovery should be considered equally as immigrants, and that 
only the aboriginal inhabitants can be properly called natives. 
In a certain sense this is of course true, but in another it is entirely 
misleading; for one cannot speak of immigration to a country 
until that country has entered upon a career of national existence. 
Accordingly a distinction has been made, and with reason, be- 
tween those who took part in building the political framework 
of the thirteen colonies and of the Federal Union, and those 
who have arrived to find the United States Government and 
its social and political institutions in working operation. The 
former class have been called colonists, the latter are immi- 
grants proper. In discussing the immigration question, this 
distinction is important; for it does not follow that because, 
as against the native Indians, all comers might be considered 
as intruders and equally without claim of right, those who have 
built up a complicated framework of nationality have no rights 
as against others who seek to enjoy the benefits of national life 
without having contributed to its creation. 

The number of persons in the country at the date of the Revolu- 
tionary War is not accurately known. The population of New 
England was produced out of an immigration of about 20,000 
persons who arrived before 1640, and it overflowed into the 
other colonies without receiving any corresponding additions 
from them. Franklin stated in 1751 that the population then in 
the colonies, amounting to about one million, had been produced 

1 "Immigration and its Effects upon the United States." Chapter I. Henry 
Holt and Co., New York, 1906. 



from an original immigration of less than 80,000. The first census 
of the United States, in 1790, gave the total population as 3,929,- 
214; but, as has been pointed out by Professor F. B. Dexter, 
this number does not include Vermont or the territory north- 
west of the Ohio River, which, he says, would make the total 
over 4,000,000. The first records of immigration begin with 
the year 1820, and, although the number of immigrants who 
arrived in the United States from the close of the Revolutionary 
War to 1820 is not certain, it is estimated by good authorities 
at 250,000. 

It is difficult to ascertain the number of immigrants from the 
various countries in the early part of the nineteenth century. 
The number from Great Britain increased from 2081 in 1815, 
to 34,787 in 1819, after which it diminished to 14,805 in 1824. 
In the year 1820, out of a total immigration of 8385, the United 
Kingdom furnished 6024. Germany was second, with 968; 
France third, with 371 ; and Spain fourth, with 139. The total 
immigration from the other parts of North and South America 
was 387. 

The original settlers of this country were, in the main, of 
Teutonic and Keltic stock. In the thirteen original States the 
pioneers were practically all British, Irish, Dutch, and German, 
with a few French, Portuguese, and Swedes ; and, in this con- 
nection, it should be remembered that a large proportion of the 
French people is Teutonic in origin. The Germans were Protes- 
tants from the Palatinate, and were pretty generally scattered, 
having colonized in New York, Western Pennsylvania, Mary- 
land, and Virginia. The Swedes settled upon the Delaware 
River. The French were Huguenots driven from home by Louis 
XIV; and, though not numerous, were a valuable addition to 
the colonies. The Irish were descendants of Cromwell's army, 
and came from the north of Ireland. All the settlers had been 
subjects of nations which entertained a high degree of civiliza- 
tion, and were at that time the colonizing and commercial nations 
of the world. At a later period, the annexation of Florida and 
Louisiana brought in elements of Mediterranean races, so called ; 
but, owing to various considerations into which it is not necessary 
to enter here, the civilization and customs of the British over- 
spread these regions, as well as those colonized originally by the 


Dutch and French, and produced a substantial uniformity in 
institutions, habits, and traditions throughout the land. 

This process of solidification and assimilation of the different 
colonies under British influence reached its consummation with 
the establishing of the Federal Government. After the birth 
of the United States as a separate nation, colonization in the 
earlier sense ceased entirely. European nations could no longer 
send out their own citizens and form communities directly de- 
pendent upon themselves and subject to their own jurisdiction. 
The immigration of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, 
therefore, differs widely in character from the colonization of 
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 


With the year 1820 the official history of immigration to the 
United States begins ; for it was then that collectors of customs 
at our ports were first obliged to record the arrival of passengers 
by sea from foreign countries. The record included numbers, 
ages, sexes, and occupations. Before 1856 no distinction at all 
was made between travelers intending to return and immigrants 
intending to remain. 

Although still comparatively small, immigration increased 
from 8385 in 1820 to 22,633 m I ^3 I - The first marked rise took 
place in 1827 and 1828, following the commercial depression in 
England in those and in the previous year. From 1831, with 
the exception of the period 1843-1844, numbers continued stead- 
ily to advance until they reached totals of 104,565 in 1842, 
and 310,004 in 1850. The most striking annual increases were 
from 114,371 in 1845 to 154,416 in 1846, and 234,968 in 1847. 
These sudden movements of population were chiefly due to hard 
times in Europe, and especially in Ireland, a cause which, with 
the Revolution of 1848, in Germany, continued to operate until 
1854, when a total of 427,853 was reached a figure not again 
attained until nearly twenty years later. With the year 1854 
the tide began to beat less fiercely; immigration decreased 
steadily until, during the first two years of the Civil War, it was 
below 100,000. But in 1863, a gradual increase once more set 
in, and in 1869 352,768 persons landed. During the whole of 


this period the only immigration of importance came from Europe 
and from other parts of America. Immigration from Asia, 
which began in 1853, consisted in the largest year, 1854, of 
13,100 persons. 

In 1869 the ethnic composition of immigration commenced 
in a marked way to change, and considerations which apply to 
the earlier years do not necessarily hold for those from 1870 to 
the present time. For this reason the period is made to end with 


In this period from 1870 to 1905, immigration increased more 
than twofold. In 1870 the total immigration was 387,203 ; 
in 1903 it had reached the enormous number of 857,046, and, 
in 1905, the still more significant figure of 1,026,499. Directly 
after 1870 a time of industrial and commercial depression began, 
culminating in the panic of 1873. The barometer of immigra- 
tion, always sensitive to such changes in the industrial atmos- 
phere, began to fall, though there was no rapid movement 
until the panic was well under way. In fact, immigration in- 
creased to 459,803 in 1873 ; but it fell in the following year to 
313,339 and then steadily diminished to 138,469 in 1878. After 
this it very suddenly increased again, and in 1882 it reached 
788,992 the largest immigration of any year except 1903, 
1904, and 1905. 

A part of this sudden increase in 1882 and the two subsequent 
years must be ascribed to the promulgation of the "May Laws" 
by Russia, which caused large numbers of Hebrews to emigrate. 
Thus, immigration from Russia, exclusive of Poland and Finland, 
was nearly four times as great in 1882 as in 1881, and by 1890 
was more than seven times as great. But, in addition to these 
special causes, there seems to have been a general advance all 
along the line of nations. One reason for this may have been the 
enactment by Congress of the first general immigration act of 
August 3, 1882, and the fear that this might be the forerunner of 
further restrictive legislation, a fear which has undoubtedly 
operated during the last two or three years. 

After 1882 numbers again diminished, making another low 
point of 334,203 in 1886. Then an increase took place until the 


total reached 579,663 in 1892. In 1893 came the epidemic of 
cholera in the East and quarantine regulations at various ports, 
followed by a period of commercial depression lasting from 1894 
to 1898. As a result of these causes, immigration fell off largely, 
touching a minimum of 229,299^1 1898. From that yearitroseby 
rapid strides to 648,743 in 1902 ; to 857,046 in 1903 ; to 812,870 
in 1904; and to 1,026,499 in 1905. 

The total for 1905 was an increase of 26 per cent over that of 
1904; 58 per cent over that of 1902; and 349 per cent over 
that of 1898. The record for a single day seems to have been 
reached on May 7, 1905, when 12,000 immigrants entered New 
York inside of twelve hours. 


It appears that the total immigration to the United States 
from the close of the Revolutionary War to 1905 was not far 
from twenty-three millions, a movement of population unprece- 
dented in history. This was divided by decades as follows : 

1821 to 1830 143,439 

1831 to 1840 599,125 

1841 to 1850 : 1,713,251 

1851 to 1860 . . . . 2,598,214 

1861 to 1870 2,314,824 

1871 to 1880 2,812,101 

1881 to 1890 5,246,613 

1891 to 1900 3,687,564 

1901 to 1905 (five years) 3,833,076 

Total, 1821-1905 22,948,297 

If the average holds to the end of the present decade, the 
number for 1901-1910 will be nearly eight millions of souls, much 
the largest contribution on record for the same period. It need 
surprise no one, however, if the total for the decade should be 
twice as large as this, for the increase in the last few years is 
enormous, and the general tendency during the past century 
has been toward a steady and rapid growth of the immigration 

Another way of viewing the annual immigration is with refer- 
ence to the volume of population into which it flows. This has 



the advantage of showing how relatively small the annual addi- 
tions are, though they are enormous compared with the additions 
to the population of other countries. But it has also a disad- 
vantage in that it takes account merely of numbers, and does 
not reckon with the character of racial composition either of the 
annual additions or the people with whom they are to be mixed. 
The following table shows the number of immigrants arriving 
in each year, from 1839 to 1901, and the number of immigrants 
to 10,000 population : 












1839 - 



June 30 

1840 . . 



1871 . . 



1841 . . 



1872 . . 









Sept. 30 














1876 . . 



1846 . . 



1877 . . 






1878 . . 



1848 . . 









1880 . . 



1850 . . 



1881 . . 



1851 . . 



1882 . . 



1852 . . 



1883 . . 






1884 . . 



1854 . 









1886 . . 



1856 . . 



1887 . . 



1857 . . 



1888 . . 



1858 . . 



1889 . . 



1859 . . 



1890 . . 



1860 . . 



1891 . . 



1861 . . 



1892 . . 



1862 . . 






1863 . . 

J 74,524 


1894 . . 



1864 . . 






1865 . . 



1896 . . 



1866 . . 



1897 . . 



1867 . . 



1898 . . 



June 30 

1899 . . 



1869 . . 



1900 . . 



1870 . . 



1901 . . 




It will be noticed that while in such a table it would be natural 
for the index numbers to grow smaller as the population grew 
larger, in general they are as high during the past twenty years 
as during the periods from 1839 to 1846, from 1855 to 1865, 
and from 1875 to 1880. 

The only times when immigration exceeded one per cent of 
the receiving population were the period 1847-1854, the years 
1870, 1873, the period 1881-1883, and the years 1903-1905. 


It is unfortunate that no accurate records are available of 
emigration from this country. The Immigration Bureau has 
repeatedly made recommendations for supplying this defect, 
but Congress has not seen fit to act, and consequently the only 
figures available are those of the transportation companies, 
supplemented by such guesswork conclusions as can be drawn 
from the census. The census obviously cannot furnish very accu- 
rate data for estimating emigration, because persons who have 
been in the country more than once may figure at a certain date in 
the census and a year or two later in the immigrant arrivals. 

The same facilities for cheap and rapid transit which operate 
so powerfully to encourage immigration are available also for 
passage in the other direction. Passage from New York to 
European ports is from two to ten dollars less than the rate to 
this country ; and the number of domestic servants, for example, 
taking advantage of these rates to pass a summer or winter 
abroad has become so large as to cause comment. In 1903, 
eastbound steerage passengers, according to figures obtained 
by the Department of Commerce and Labor, numbered 251,500 ; 
and for the decade 1891 to 1900, excepting the years 1896 and 
1897, for which no figures are available, the number was 1,229,- 
909; or a probable total for the decade of 1,529,909. At cer- 
tain times the exodus is larger than the influx. *Thus, during 
the period from November i to December 8, 1894, the number 
of emigrants was 25,544, while immigrant arrivals for the month 
of November numbered 12,886. 

The hard times of 1893 caused large numbers of Italians to 
return home. The total of steerage passengers sailing from New 


York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Mon- 
treal in that year was 268,037; in 1894, it was 311,760. The 
Italian Commissioner- General of Emigration states that, in 
1903, 214,157 Italians went to the United States and 78,233 

Naturally, many of those who return home come again to the 
United States when conditions here are more favorable, or they 
have spent the money accumulated while in this country. In 
1898, 1 8 per cent of immigrants had been in this country before ; 
in 1901, 12 per cent; in 1903, 9 per cent; in 1905, 17.1 per cent. 
These figures do not, of course, show how often the immigrants 
represented have been in the United States ; for although this 
information appears to some extent upon the manifests, it is 
not tabulated in the official reports. From a personal examina- 
tion of the manifests of several thousand Italians at Ellis Island, 
New York, the writer can state that large numbers have been 
here two, three, four, and in some cases six or more times. In 
view of this the inaccuracy of estimates based on the census 
becomes even more apparent. Poles, Slovaks, and other mining 
laborers are frequent birds of passage ; and in the case of Cana- 
dians working in the United States, there is a large exodus of 
persons returning home, some in the winter and some in the sum- 
mer, according to the nature of their occupation. 




THE present movement of population from Europe to the 
United States is, with few exceptions, almost entirely attrib- 
utable to economic causes. Emigration due to political reasons 
and, to a less extent, religious oppression, undoubtedly exists, 
but even in countries where these incentives prevail the more 
important cause is very largely an economic one. This does 
not mean, however, that emigration from Europe is now an 
economic necessity. At times in the past, notably during the 
famine years in Ireland, actual want forced a choice between 
emigration and literal starvation, but the present movement 
results in the main from a widespread desire for better economic 
conditions rather than from the necessity of escaping intolerable 
ones. In other words, the emigrant of to-day comes to the 
United States not merely to make a living, but to make a better 
living than is possible at home. 

With comparatively few exceptions, the emigrant of to-day is 
essentially a seller of labor seeking a more favorable market. 
To a considerable extent this incentive is accompanied by a 
certain spirit of unrest and adventure and a more or less definite 
ambition for general social betterment, but primarily the move- 
ment is accounted for by the fact that the reward of labor is much 
greater in the United States than in Europe. 

The desire to escape military service is also a primary cause 
of emigration from some countries, but on the whole it is rela- 
tively unimportant. It is true, moreover, that some emigrate 
to escape punishment for crime, or the stigma which follows 
such punishment, while others of the criminal class deliberately 
seek supposedly more advantageous fields for criminal activity. 



The emigration of criminals of this class is a natural movement 
not altogether peculiar to European countries, and, although 
vastly important because dangerous, numerically it affects 
but little the tide of European emigration to the United States. 

In order that the chief cause of emigration from Europe may 
be better understood, the commission has given considerable 
attention to economic conditions in the countries visited, with 
particular reference to the status of emigrating classes in this 
regard. It was impossible for the commissioners personally 
to make more than a general survey of this subject, but because 
an understanding of the economic situation in the chief immi- 
grant-furnishing countries is essential to an intelligent discus- 
sion of the immigration question, the results of the commission's 
investigation have been supplemented by official data or well- 
authenticated material from other sources. 

The purely economic condition of the wageworker is generally 
very much lower in Europe than in the United States. This is 
especially true of the unskilled laborer class from which so great 
a proportion of the emigration to the United States is drawn. 
Skilled labor also is poorly paid when compared with returns 
for like service in the United States, but the opportunity for 
continual employment in this field is usually good and the wages 
sufficiently high to lessen the incentive to emigration. A large 
proportion of the emigration from southern and eastern Europe 
may be traced directly to the inability of the peasantry to gain 
an adequate livelihood in agricultural pursuits either as laborers 
or proprietors. Agricultural labor is paid extremely low wages, 
and employment is quite likely to be seasonal rather than con- 
tinuous. In cases where peasant proprietorship is possible, the 
land holdings are usually so small, the methods of cultivation 
so primitive, and the taxes so high, that even in productive years 
the struggle for existence is a hard one, while a crop failure 
means practical disaster for the small farmer and farm laborer 
alike. In agrarian Russia, where the people have not learned to 
emigrate, a crop failure results in a famine, while in other sec- 
tions of southern and eastern Europe it results in emigration, 
usually to the United States. Periods of industrial depression 
as well as crop failures stimulate emigration, but the effect of 
the former is not so pronounced, for the reason that disturbed 


financial and industrial conditions in Europe are usually coin- 
cidental with like conditions in the United States, and at such 
times the emigration movement is always relatively smaller. 

The fragmentary nature of available data relative to wages 
in many European countries makes a satisfactory comparison 
with wages in the United States impossible. It is well known, 
however, that even in England, Germany, France, and other 
countries of western Europe wages are below the United States 
standard, while in southern and eastern Europe the difference 
is very great. The commission found this to be true in its investi- 
gations in parts of Italy, Austria-Hungary, Greece, Turkey, 
Russia, and the Balkan States. In fact, it may safely be stated 
that in these countries the average wage of men engaged in 
common and agricultural labor is less than 50 cents per day, 
while in some sections it is even much lower. It is true that 
in some countries agricultural laborers receive from employers 
certain concessions in the way of fuel, food, etc., but in cases 
of this nature which came to the attention of the commission 
the value of the concessions was insufficient to materially affect 
the low wage scale. 

It is a common but erroneous belief that peasants and artisans 
in the European countries from which the new immigrant comes 
can live so very cheaply that the low wages have practically as 
great a purchasing power as the higher wages in the United 
States. The low cost of living among the working people, espe- 
cially of southern and eastern Europe, is due to a low standard 
of living rather than to the cheapness of food and other commod- 
ities. As a matter of fact, meat and other costly articles of food, 
which are considered as almost essential to the everyday table 
of the American workingman, cannot be afforded among laborers 
in like occupations in southern and eastern Europe. The same 
is true of the American standard of housing, clothing, and other 
things which enter into the cost of living. 

Notwithstanding the bad economic conditions surrounding 
the classes which furnish so great a part of the emigration from 
southern and eastern Europe, the commission believes that a 
laudable ambition for better things than they possess rather 
than a need for actual necessities is the chief motive behind the 
movement to the United States. Knowledge of conditions in 


America, promulgated through letters from friends or by emi- 
grants who have returned for a visit to their native villages, 
creates and fosters among the people a desire for improved 
conditions which, it is believed, can be attained only through 

It is the opinion of the commission that, with the exception 
of some Russian and Roumanian Hebrews, relatively few Euro- 
peans emigrate at the present time because of political or reli- 
gious conditions. It is doubtless true that political discontent 
still influences the emigration movement from Ireland, but to 
a less degree than in earlier years. The survival of the Polish 
national spirit undoubtedly is a determining factor in the emi- 
gration from Prussia, Russia, and Austria of some of that race, 
while dissatisfaction with Russian domination is to a degree 
responsible for Finnish emigration. In all probability some 
part of the emigration from Turkey in Europe and Turkey in 
Asia, as well as from the Balkan States, is also attributable to 
political conditions in those countries. There is, of course, a 
small movement from nearly every European country of political 
idealists who prefer a democracy to a monarchial government, 
but these, and in fact all, with the exception of the Hebrew peo- 
ples referred to, whose emigration is in part due to political or 
religious causes, form a very small portion of the present Euro- 
pean emigration to the United States. 

Contributory or immediate causes of emigration were given 
due consideration by the commission. Chief of these is clearly 
the advice and assistance of relatives or friends who have pre- 
viously emigrated. Through the medium of letters from those 
already in the United States and the visits of former emigrants, 
the emigrating classes of Europe are kept constantly if not always 
reliably informed as to labor conditions here, and these agencies 
are by far the most potent promoters of the present movement 
of population. 

The commission found ample evidence of this fact in every 
country of southern and eastern Europe. Of the two agencies 
mentioned, however, letters are by far the more important. In 
fact, it is entirely safe to assert that letters to friends at home 
from persons who have emigrated have been the immediate 
cause of by far the greater part of the remarkable movement 


from southern and eastern Europe to the United States during 
the past twenty-five years. There is hardly a village or com- 
munity in southern Italy and Sicily that has not contributed 
a portion of its population to swell the tide of emigration to the 
United States, and the same is true of large areas of Austria, 
Hungary, Greece, Turkey, and the Balkan States. There is 
a tendency on the part of emigrants from these countries to retain 
an interest in the homeland, and in consequence a great amount 
of correspondence passes back and forth. It was frequently 
stated to members of the Commission that letters from persons 
who have emigrated to America were passed from hand to hand 
until most of the emigrants' friends and neighbors were ac- 
quainted with the contents. In periods of industrial activity, 
as a rule, the letters so circulated contain optimistic references 
to wages and opportunities for employment in the United States, 
and when comparison in this regard is made with conditions at 
home it is inevitable that whole communities should be inoculated 
with a desire to emigrate. The reverse is true during seasons of 
industrial depression in the United States. At such times intend- 
ing emigrants are quickly informed by their friends in the United 
States relative to conditions of employment, and a gre^at falling 
off in the tide of emigration is the immediate result. 

Emigrants who have returned for a visit to their native land 
are also great promoters of emigration. This is particularly 
true of southern and eastern European emigrants, who as a class 
make more or less frequent visits to their old homes. Among 
the returning emigrants are always some who have failed to 
achieve success in America, and some who through changed 
conditions of life and employment return in broken health. It 
is but natural that these should have a slightly deterrent effect 
on emigration ; but, on the whole, this is relatively unimportant, 
for the returning emigrant, as a rule, is one who has succeeded. 
In times of industrial inactivity in the United States the large 
number of emigrants who return to their native lands of course 
serve as a temporary check to emigration, but it is certain that 
in the long run such returning emigrants actually promote rather 
than retard the movement to the United States. 

The importance of the advice of friends as an immediate 
cause of emigration from Europe is also indicated by the fact 



that nearly all European immigrants admitted to the United 
States are, according to their own statements, going to join 
relatives or friends. The United States immigration law provides 
that information upon this point be secured relative to every 
alien coming to the United States by water, and the record 
shows that in the fiscal years 1908 and 1909, 94.7 per cent of all 
European and Syrian immigr^its admitted were destined to 
relatives or friends. It is worthy of note that the percentage 
was higher in the new immigration than in the old, being 97 
per cent in the former and 89.4 per cent in the latter. 

The foregoing not only indicates a very general relationship 
between admitted immigrants and those who follow, but it sug- 
gests forcibly that emigration from Europe proceeds according 
to "well-defined individual plans rather than in a haphazard way. 

Actual contracts involving promises of employment between 
employers in the United States and laborers in Europe are not 
responsible for any very considerable part of the present emi- 
gration movement. It will be understood, however, that this 
statement refers only to cases where actual bona fide contracts 
between employers and laborers exist rather than to so-called con- 
tract labor cases as defined in the sweeping terms of the United 
States immigration law, which classifies as such all persons 

. . . who have been induced or solicited to migrate to this country by 
offers or promises of employment or in consequence of agreements, 
oral, written, or printed, express or implied, to perform labor in this 
country of any kind, skilled or unskilled. 

Under a strict interpretation of the law above quoted, it would 
seem that in order to escape being classified as contract laborers 
immigrants coming to the United States must be entirely with- 
out assurance that employment will be available here. Indeed, 
it is certain that European immigrants, and particularly those 
from southern and eastern Europe, are, under a literal construc- 
tion of the law, for the most part contract laborers, for it is 
unlikely that many emigrants embark for the United States 
without a pretty definite knowledge of where they will go and 
what they will do if admitted. 

It should not be understood, however, that the commission 
believes that contract labor in its more serious form does not 


exist. Undoubtedly many immigrants come to the United 
States from southern and eastern Europe as the result of definite 
if not open agreements with employers of labor here, but, as 
previously stated, actual and direct contract labor agreements 
cannot be considered as the direct or immediate cause of any 
considerable proportion of the European emigration movement 
to the United States. As before stated emigrants as a rule are 
practically assured that employment awaits them in America 
before they leave their homes for ports of embarkation, and 
doubtless in a majority of cases they know just where and what 
the employment will be. This is another result of letters from 
former emigrants in the United States. In fact it may be said 
that immigrants, or at least newly arrived immigrants, are 
substantially the agencies which keep the American labor market 
supplied with unskilled laborers from Europe. Some of them 
operate consciously and on a large scale, but as a rule each immi- 
grant simply informs his nearest friends that employment can 
be had and advises them to come. It is these personal appeals 
which, more than all other agencies, promote and regulate the 
tide of European emigration to America. 

Moreover, the immigrant in the United States in a large 
measure assists, as well as advises, his friends in the Old World 
to emigrate. It is difficult, and in many cases impossible, for 
the southern and eastern European to save a sufficient amount 
of money to purchase a steerage ticket to the United States. 
No matter how strong the desire to emigrate may be, its ac- 
complishment on the part of the ordinary laborer, dependent 
upon his own resources, can be realized only after a long 
struggle. To immigrants in the United States, however, the 
price of steerage transportation to or from Europe is relatively / 
a small matter, and by giving or advancing the necessary money / 
they make possible the emigration of many. It is impossible / 
to estimate with any degree of accuracy what proportion of the / 
large amount of money annually sent abroad by immigrants / 
is sent for the purpose of assisting relatives or friends to; 
emigrate, but it is certain that the aggregate is large. The/ 
immediate families of immigrants are the largest beneficiaries m 
this regard, but the assistance referred to is extended to manf 


Next to the advice and assistance of friends and relatives 
who have already emigrated, the propaganda conducted by 
steamship ticket agents is undoubtedly the most important imme- 
diate cause of emigration from Europe to the United States. 
This propaganda flourishes in every emigrant-furnishing country 
of Europe, notwithstanding the fact that the promotion of emi- 
gration is forbidden by the laws of many such countries as well 
as by the United States immigration law. 

It is, of course, difficult if not impossible to secure a really 
effective enforcement of this provision of the United States law, 
but undoubtedly it does supplement the emigration laws of 
various European countries in compelling steamship ticket 
agents to solicit emigration in a secret manner rather than openly. 
It does not appear that steamship companies as a rule openly 
or directly violate the United States law, but through local 
agents and subagents of such companies it is violated persistently 
and continuously. Selling steerage tickets to America is the 
sxDle or chief occupation of large numbers of persons in southern 
and eastern Europe, and from the observations of the commis- 
sion it is clear that these local agents as a rule solicit business 
by every possible means and consequently encourage emigration. 

No data are available to show even approximately the total 
number of such agents and subagents engaged in the steerage 
ticket business. One authority stated to the commission that 
two of the leading steamship lines had five or six thousand ticket 
agents in Galicia alone, and that there was "a great hunt for 
emigrants" there. The total number of such agents is undoubt- 
edly very large, for the steerage business is vastly important to 
all the lines operating passenger ships, and all compete for a share 
of it. The great majority of emigrants from southern and eastern 
European countries sail under foreign flags, Italian emigrants, 
a large proportion of whom sail under the flag of Italy, being 
the only conspicuous exception. Many Greek, Russian, and 
Austrian emigrants sail on ships of those nations, but the bulk 
of the emigrant business originating in eastern and southern 
European countries, excepting Italy, is handled by the British, 
IGerman, Dutch, French, and Belgian lines. There is at present 
Vn agreement among the larger steamship companies which in 
I measure regulates the distribution of this traffic and prevents 


unrestricted competition between the lines, but this does not 
affect the vigorous and widespread hunt for steerage passengers 
which is carried on throughout the chief emigrant-furnishing 

The commission's inquiry and information from other sources 
indicate that the attempted promotion of emigration by steam- 
ship ticket agents is carried on to a greater extent in Austria, 
Hungary, Greece, and Russia than in other countries. The 
Russian law, as elsewhere stated, does not recognize the right 
of the people to emigrate permanently, and while the large and 
continued movement of population from the Empire to over-seas 
countries is proof that the law is to a large degree inoperative, 
it nevertheless seems to restrict somewhat the activities of 
steamship agents. Moreover, there were at the time of the 
commission's visit two Russian steamship lines carrying emi- 
grants directly from Libau to the United States, and the Govern- 
ment's interest in the success of these lines resulted in a rather 
strict surveillance of the agents of foreign companies doing 
business in the Empire. Because of this, much of the work of 
agents of foreign lines was carried on surreptitiously; in fact, 
they were commonly described to the commission as "secret 
agents." Emigration from Russia is, or at least is made to appear 
to be, a difficult matter, and the work of the secret agents con- 
sists not only of selling steamship transportation, but also in 
procuring passports, and in smuggling across the frontier emi- 
grants who for military or other reasons cannot procure pass- 
ports, or who because of their excessive cost elect to leave Russia 
without them. This was frequently stated to the commission. 
A Russian official at St. Petersburg complained to the com- 
mission that Jewish secret agents of British lines had been em- 
ployed in Russia to induce Christians, instead of Jews, to emi- 
grate. It was learned that some letters had been received by 
prospective emigrants containing more information than the 
dates of sailing, terms, etc. (as allowed by section 7 of the United 
States Immigration Act), and also that on market days in some 
places steamship agents would mingle with the people and en- 
deavor to incite them to emigrate. 

The Hungarian law strictly forbids the promotion of emigra- 
tion and the Government has prosecuted violations so vigorously 


that at the time of the commission's visit the emigration authori- 
ties expressed the belief that the practice had been checked. It 
was stated to the commission that foreign steamship lines had 
constantly acted in contravention of the Hungarian regulations 
by employing secret agents to solicit business, or through agents 
writing personal letters to prospective emigrants, advising them 
how to leave Hungary without the consent of the government. 
Letters of this nature were presented to the commission. Some 
of them are accompanied by crudely drawn maps indicating the 
location of all the Hungarian control stations on the Austrian 
border, and the routes of travel by which such stations can be 
avoided. The commission was shown the records in hundreds 
of cases where the secret agents of foreign steamship companies 
had been convicted and fined or imprisoned for violating the 
Hungarian law by soliciting emigration. It was reported to 
the commission that in one year at Kassa, a Hungarian city 
on the Austrian border, eight secret agents of the German lines 
were punished for violations of the emigration law. 

In Austria, at the time of the commission's visit, there was 
comparatively little agitation relative to emigration. Attempts 
had been made to enact an emigration law similar to that of 
Hungary, but these were not successful. The solicitation of 
emigration is forbidden by law, but it appeared that steamship 
ticket agents were not subjected to strict regulation, as they are 
in Hungary. Government officials and others interested in the 
emigration situation expressed the belief that the solicitations 
of agents had little effect on the emigration movement, which 
was influenced almost entirely by economic conditions. It was 
not denied, however, that steamship agents do solicit emigration. 

The Italian law strictly forbids the solicitation of emigration 
by steamship agents, and complaints relative to violation of 
the law were not nearly so numerous as in some countries visited. 
Nevertheless there are many persons engaged in the business of 
selling steerage tickets in that country, and the commission was 
informed that considerable soliciting is done. 

The commission found that steamship agents were very active 
in Greece and that the highly colored posters and other advertis- 
ing matter of the steamship companies were to be found every- 
where. According to its population Greece furnishes more 


emigrants to the United States than any other country, and the 
spirit of emigration is so intense among the people that solicita- 
tion by steamship companies probably plays relatively a small 
part even as a contributory cause of the movement. 


Emigration from Europe to the United States through public 
assistance is so small as to be of little or no importance. It is 
probable and easily conceivable that local authorities sometimes 
assist in the emigration of public charges and criminals, but such 
instances are believed to be rare. As a matter of fact, European 
nations look with regret on the emigration of their young and 
able-bodied men and women, and the comity of nations would 
prevent the deportation of criminals and paupers to a country 
whose laws denied admission to such classes, however desirable 
their emigration might be. Besides, the assisted emigration to 
the United States of the aged or physically or mentally defective 
would be sure to result in failure because of the stringent provi- 
sions of the United States immigration law. It is well known 
that in the earlier days of unrestricted immigration large num- 
bers of paupers and other undesirables were assisted to emigrate, 
or were practically deported, from the British Isles and other 
countries to the United States. Even at the present time, as 
shown in the commission's report on the immigration situation 
in Canada, there is a large assisted emigration from England 
to Canada and other British colonies, but it does not appear 
that there is any movement of this nature to the United States. 

On the other hand various nations of the Western Hemisphere 
make systematic efforts in Europe to induce immigration. The 
Canadian government maintains agencies in all the countries 
of northern and western Europe where the solicitation of emigra- 
tion is permitted, and pays a bonus to thousands of booking 
agents for directing emigrants to the dominion. Canada, how- 
ever, expends no money in the transportation of emigrants. 
Several South American countries, including Brazil and Argen- 
tine Republic, also systematically solicit immigration in Europe. 

Several American states have attempted to attract immigrants 
by the distribution in Europe of literature advertising the 


attractions of such states. A few States have sent commis- 
sioners to various countries for the purpose of inducing immi- 
gration, but although some measure of success has attended 
such efforts the propaganda has had little effect on the immi- 
gration movement as a whole. 


That former convicts and professional criminals from all 
countries come to the United States practically at will cannot 
and need not be denied, although it seems probable that in the 
popular belief the number is greatly exaggerated. This class 
emigrates and is admitted to this country, and, in the opinion 
of the commission, the blame cannot equitably be placed else- 
where than on the United States. The commission is convinced 
that no European government encourages the emigration of 
its criminals to this country. Some, it is true, take no measures 
to prevent such emigration, especially after criminals have paid 
the legal penalties demanded, but others, and particularly Italy, 
seek to restrain the departure of former convicts in common 
with other classes debarred by the United States immigration 
law. The accomplishment of this purpose on the part of Italy 
is attempted by specific regulations forbidding the issuance of 
passports to intended emigrants who have been convicted of 
a felony or other crime or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude 
within the meaning of the United States law. Under the Italian 
system local officials furnish the record upon which is determined 
the intending emigrant's right to receive a passport, and it is 
not denied that some officials at times violate the injunctions 
of the Government in this regard, but as a whole the commission 
believes the effort is honestly made and in the main successfully 
accomplished. The weakness and inefficiency of the system, 
however, lie in the fact that passports are not demanded by the 
United States as a requisite of admission, and although subjects 
of Italy may not leave Italian ports without them, there is 
little or nothing to prevent those unprovided from leaving the 
country overland without passports or with passports to other 
countries and then embarking for the United States from foreign 
ports. Thus it is readily seen that the precaution of Italy, 


however effective, is practically worthless without cooperation 
on the* part of the United States. 


The practice of examining into the physical condition of 
emigrants at the time of embarkation is one of long standing 
at some European ports. In the earlier days, and in fact until 
quite recently, the purpose of the inspection was merely to pro- 
tect the health of steerage passengers during the ocean voyage. 
The Belgian law of 1843 provided that in case the presence 
of infectious disease among passengers was suspected there should 
be an examination by a naval surgeon in order to prevent the 
embarkation of afflicted persons. The British steerage law of 
1848, the enactment of which followed the experiences of 1847 
when thousands of emigrants driven from Ireland by the famine 
died of ship fever, provided that passengers should be examined 
by a physician and those whose condition was likely to endanger 
the health of other passengers should not be permitted to pro- 
ceed. Similar laws or regulations became general among the 
maritime nations and are still in effect. 

The situation is also affected somewhat by provisions of the 
United States quarantine law, which requires American con- 
sular officers to satisfy themselves of the sanitary condition of 
ships and passengers sailing for United States ports. The laws 
above referred to are intended to prevent the embarkation of 
persons afflicted with diseases of a quarantinable nature, and 
the only real and effective protection this country has against 
the coming of the otherwise physically or mentally defective 
is the United States immigration law which, through rejections 
and penalties at United States ports, has made the transportation 
of diseased emigrants unprofitable to the steamship companies. 
This law is responsible for the elaborate system of emigrant 
inspection which prevails at ports of embarkation and elsewhere 
in Europe at the present time. 

A systematic medical inspection of immigrants at United 
States ports was first established under the immigration act of 
March 3, 1891. Under that law steamship companies were 
required to return free of charge excluded aliens, and the number 


of rejections soon compelled the companies to exercise some 
degree of care in the selection of steerage passengers at foreign 
ports of embarkation. The necessity of a careful inspection 
abroad was increased when in 1897 trachoma was classed as a 
" dangerous contagious" disease, within the meaning of the 
United States immigration law, and again when the immigra- 
tion law of 1903 imposed a fine of $100 upon steamship com- 
panies for bringing to a United States port an alien afflicted 
with a loathsome or dangerous contagious disease, when the 
presence of such disease might have been detected by a compe- 
tent medical examination at the foreign port of embarkation. 

The immigration law of 1907, at present in force, increased 
the causes for which a fine of $100 may be imposed on steamship 
companies to include the bringing of idiots, imbeciles, epileptics, 
and persons afflicted with tuberculosis whose condition might 
have been detected at the foreign port of embarkation. 

How to prevent the embarkation at foreign ports of emigrants 
who under the immigration law cannot be admitted at United 
States ports is a serious problem, in which the welfare of the emi- 
grant is the chief consideration. In a purely practical sense, 
except for the danger of contagion on shipboard the United 
States is not seriously affected by the arrival of diseased persons 
at ports of entry, because the law does not permit them to enter 
the country. 

From a humanitarian standpoint, however, it is obviously of the 
greatest importance that emigrants of the classes debarred by law 
from entering the United States be not allowed to embark at 
foreign ports. This is accomplished in a large measure under the 
present system of inspection abroad, for in ordinary years at 
least four intending emigrants are turned back by the steamship 
companies before leaving a European port to one debarred at 
United States ports of arrival. 

In view of the importance of the subject the Commission made 
careful investigation of examination systems prevailing at the ports 
of Amsterdam, Antwerp, Bremen, Cherbourg, Christiania, Copen- 
hagen, Fiume, Genoa, Glasgow, Hamburg, Havre, Libau, Liver- 
pool, Londonderry, Marseille, Messina, Naples, Palermo, Patras, 
Piraeus, Queenstown, Rotterdam, and Southampton, from which 
ports practically all emigrants for the United States embark. 


There is little uniformity in the systems of examination in 
force at these ports. At Naples, Palermo, and Messina, under 
authority of the United States quarantine law and by agreement 
with the Italian Government and the steamship companies, the 
medical examination of steerage passengers is made by officers oi 
the United States Public Health and Marine-Hospital Service, 
who exercise practically absolute control in this regard. These 
officers examine for defects contemplated by the United States 
immigration law every intended emigrant holding a steerage 
ticket and advise the rejection of those whose physical condition 
would make their admission to the United States improbable. 
While acting unofficially, these officers have the support of both 
government and steamship officials, and their suggestions rela- 
tive to rejection are always complied with. 

The other extreme, so far as United States control is concerned, 
exists at Antwerp, where the Belgian Government is unwilling to 
yield even partial control of the situation, this attitude being due 
in part to a former disagreement incidental to the administration 
of the United States quarantine law at that port. At Antwerp 
not even American consular officers are permitted to interfere 
in the examination of emigrants. Between these extremes there 
exists a variety of systems, in which, for the most part, American 
consular officials perform more or less important functions, as 
outlined in the United States quarantine law previously referred 
to. As a practical illustration of the value of examinations at the 
various European ports in preventing the embarkation of diseased 
or otherwise undesirable emigrants, the Commission, as will 
appear later, has made a comparative study showing rejections, 
by cause, at United States ports of emigrants from different ports 
of Europe. 

The examination of intending emigrants, however, is not con- 
fined entirely to ports of embarkation, but in several instances is 
required when application for steamship ticket is made or before 
the emigrant has proceeded to a port of embarkation. The most 
conspicuous existence of such preliminary examinations is the 
control-station system which the German Government compels 
the steamship companies to maintain on the German-Russian 
and German-Austrian frontiers. There are thirteen of these 
stations on the frontier and one near Berlin. Germany, as a 


matter of self-protection, requires that all emigrants from eastern 
Europe intending to cross German territory to ports of em- 
barkation be examined at such stations, and those who do not 
comply with the German law governing the emigrant traffic 
through the Empire or who obviously would be debarred at 
United States ports are rejected. During the year ending June 
30, 1907, out of 455,916 intended emigrants inspected 11,814 
were turned back at these stations. 

In some countries an effort is made to prevent intending 
emigrants from leaving home unless it is evident that they will 
meet the requirements of examinations at control stations and 
ports of embarkation, or of the United ^States immigration law. 
This is particularly true of Hungary, where at several points there 
is local supervision of the departure of emigrants for seaports. 
While this supervision is due largely to Hungary's purpose of 
controlling emigration, particularly where emigrants are liable 
to military service, the system prevents many from leaving home 
who would be rejected at ports of embarkation on account of 

Medical examinations, with a view to determining the admissi- 
bility of emigrants under the United States law, are not un- 
common in connection with the sale of steamship tickets. The 
most conspicuous example of examinations of this nature was 
found in Greece, and this resulted from a most forcible illustration 
of the rigidity of the United States law. In 1906 the Austro- 
Americano Company, which was then new in the emigrant-carry- 
ing business, had over 300 emigrants refused admission to the 
United States and returned on a single voyage. On arrival at 
Trieste these returned emigrants mobbed the steamship com- 
pany's office, and the experience resulted in the establishment by 
the Austro-Americano Company of a systematic scheme of 
examining intended emigrants in Greece. Agents of the company 
in that country sent their head physician to study the medical 
examination of immigrants at United States ports, and physicians 
were provided for the 40 subagencies of the company in different 
parts of Greece. Under the system in force in Greece, before 
any document is given to an intended emigrant he is examined 
by the physician attached to the subagency. If that physician 
accepts him he receives a medical certificate, makes a deposit 


toward the price of his ticket, and space is reserved for him on a 
steamer. When he goes to the port of embarkation the emigrant 
is examined by the company's head physician and, if accepted, 
is permitted to complete his purchase of a ticket. 

In Italy it is the policy of the Government to examine the 
records of intended emigrants at the time application is made 
for a passport, and unless the applicant can comply -with the 
Italian and United States laws the passport is refused. But this 
refers particularly to the cases of criminals and convicts rather 
than to the physically defective, and usually Italian emigrants 
are given their first medical examination at ports of embarkation. 

During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1907, a total of 13,064 
immigrants were rejected at United States ports, and for the 
three fiscal years ending June 30, 1909, the total number of 
immigrants from all sources rejected was 34,377, or 5304 less 
than were turned back at the European ports and control stations 
above mentioned in a period of thirteen months. 

The large number of rejections at United States ports is not 
essentially an unfavorable reflection on the medical examinations 
conducted in Europe for the reason that the latter are in the 
main confined to the physical condition of emigrants, while at the 
United States ports the examination is much broader. But this 
is not all, for in addition to the requirements of the United States 
law relative to the return of rejected immigrants to ports of 
embarkation, European laws, as a rule, require that steamship 
companies forward those returned to their homes, or home 
countries, which, in many cases, are at a considerable distance 
from the ports at which the rejected ones embarked. The Italian 
law relative to emigrants returned from foreign ports imposes 
even greater burdens on the carriers. Under that law the 
returned emigrant is entitled to damages from the carrier if he 
can prove that the carrier was aware before his departure from 
Italy that he could not be admitted under the law of the country 
to which he emigrated. A tribunal known as the arbitration 
commission has been established in each province of Italy to 
examine cases of this nature, and the emigrant who has been 
returned may make a claim before that commission without ex- 
pense to himself. In many cases, besides returning the passage 
money, the carrier is compelled to pay the returned emigrant for 


loss of wages incurred by reason of his journey across the sea. 
For these reasons the transportation of emigrants who cannot be 
admitted to the United States is usually unprofitable, but not- 
withstanding this fact some companies are willing to assume 
considerable risk for the sake of increasing their steerage business. 
In the main, however, the examinations conducted at the various 
ports are good and effective, so far as concerns the physical 
condition of emigrants; and as a safeguard against the trans- 
portation of the diseased, who are certain to be rejected at United 
States ports, they are of the greatest importance, a fact which 
the commission believes is not always fully realized by students of 
the immigration problem in the United States. 

In the complete report of the commission upon this subject a 
detailed description is given of the inspection of emigrants at 
each port considered, but for the purpose of this abstract it is 
necessary only to note the real and final authority in determining 
rejections at the different ports under consideration for causes 
contemplated by the United States immigration law. In some 
instances this is difficult on account of apparently divided 
authority, but the following summary, it is believed, fairly 
represents the situation of each port : 

Antwerp: Physician employed by steamship company. 

Bremen: Physicians employed by American consul, but paid by 
steamship companies. 

Cherbourg: Ship's doctor. 

Christiania : Physician of the board of health. 

Copenhagen : Municipal physician. 

Fiume : Physician employed by steamship company, who also acts 
for the American consul. 

Genoa: Ship's doctor. 

Glasgow: Ship's doctor. 

Hamburg: Physicians (including eye specialists) employed by 
steamship company. 

Havre : Physician (including an eye specialist) employed by steam- 
ship companies. 

Libau : Physician employed by steamship company. 

Liverpool : Physicians employed by steamship companies. 

Londonderry : Ship's doctor. 

Marseille: Physicians (including an eye specialist) employed by 
steamship company, and the ship's doctor. 


Messina: Acting assistant surgeon of the United States Public 
Health and Marine-Hospital Service. 

Naples: Officers of the United States Public Health and Marine- 
Hospital Service. 

Palermo: Acting assistant surgeon of the United States Public 
Health and Marine-Hospital Service. 

Pair as : Physicians employed by steamship companies. 

Pirczus : Ship's doctor. 

Queenstown : Ship's doctor. 

Rotterdam: Physicians (including eye specialists) employed by the 
steamship company, a physician employed by the American con- 
sulate general, and the ship's doctor. 

Southampton : Ship's doctor. 

Trieste: Physicians employed by steamship company, the ship's 
doctor, and police officers. The American consul exercises unusual 

From the foregoing it is clear that the steamship companies 
are in the main responsible for the medical examination of emi- 
grants at European ports of embarkation, and they are the chief 
beneficiaries of the system. A study of the situation also shows 
that the real controlling factor in the situation at every port is the 
United States immigration law, for without it there would be no 
examination worthy of the name. 

Methods of conducting the inspection differ at the various 
ports. At some the examination, as a rule, extends over several 
days, and specialists are employed to detect trachoma, which 
disease is the chief factor in making a competent examination 
necessary. At others, and particularly at some ports of call, the 
inspection is conducted hurriedly and under seemingly un- 
favorable circumstances. In some instances American officials 
have absolutely no part in the work and exercise no authority ; 
in others American consuls participate actively ; and in the case 
of some of the Italian ports American medical officers absolutely 
control the situation. 

Because of the absence of records the commission was unable to 
ascertain for any stated period the total number of rejections 
made at all European ports included in the inquiry. In the case 
of some ports information was not available for all of the steam- 
ship lines embarking emigrants there, and in other cases the 
number of persons rejected was found, but the cause of rejections 


could not be ascertained. Consequently the material at hand is 
incomplete, but it is sufficient to illustrate the great sifting process 
that goes on at control stations and ports before emigrants are 
finally allowed to embark for the United States. 

As previously explained, it is impossible to state the exact 
number of intended emigrants who are refused passage to the 
United States from European ports during any given period. 
From the records available it may be seen that of the ports in- 
cluded within the commission's inquiry no data relative to rejec- 
tions were available for Antwerp, Cherbourg, Chris tiania, Copen- 
hagen, Londonderry, Marseille, Piraeus, and Southampton, while 
for Genoa, Liverpool, Libau, and Patras the record is incomplete. 
This is particularly unfortunate in the case of Liverpool, which is 
one of the four great emigration ports of Europe. Moreover, 
the inquiry did not include the minor ports of Barcelona, Bor- 
deaux, Boulogne, Cadiz, Calais, Dover, Gibraltar, Hull, Leghorn, 
Plymouth, and Stettin, at all of which some emigrants embarked 
for the United States during the year 1907. No data whatever 
could be secured relative to the number of applicants who, on 
account of their physical condition, were refused transportation 
by agents of the various lines requiring a medical examination in 
connection with the sale of tickets. It is believed, however, that 
the number rejected in this way is relatively small. 

From the foregoing it is clear that while the number of rejec- 
tions, 39,681, shown in the preceding table in all probability 
represents the greater part of all rejections at ports of em- 
barkation and elsewhere in Europe, the number would be con- 
siderably increased were complete data available. Of course 
any estimate of the total number rejected would of necessity be 
largely speculative, but it seems safe to assume that during the 
period of the thirteen months December i, 1906, to December 
31, 1907 covered by the commission's inquiry at least 50,000 
intended emigrants were refused transportation from European 
ports to the United States because of the probability that they 
would be debarred at United States ports under the provision of 
the immigration law. 

It is worthy of note that practically all of the rejections under 
discussion were for some physical or mental disability. This is, 
perhaps, only natural, in view of the fact that the inspection at 


practically every port is conducted purely from a medical stand- 
point. In much of the data secured by the commission the 
causes of rejection were not given in great detail, the classification 
"other causes" including a considerable proportion of the rejec- 
tions at several ports. So far as shown by the data, however, all 
of the rejections under consideration were for physical or mental 
causes except in the following instances : Liverpool, 4 "arrested " ; 
Trieste, 2 "without means," 117 "rejected by police"; Queens- 
town, i "refused examination." 

It does not appear, however, that the police inspection at 
Trieste is an attempt to prevent embarkation of persons likely 
to be excluded from the United States, and consequently it can 
hardly be considered as a means of protecting the United States 
against the coming of undesirable classes. 

It is, of course, possible that among emigrants rejected for 
"other causes" there may be some criminals, prostitutes, pro- 
curers, paupers, contract laborers, or other classes specifically 
debarred by the United States immigration law ; but, if so, the 
number is too small to be worthy of consideration. 

At the German control stations on the Russian and Austrian 
boundaries the amount of money possessed by intended emigrants 
is taken into consideration, and according to the records 755 
persons were rejected there during the year 1907 for "want of 

On the whole, however, the examination abroad as conducted 
at the time of the commission's visit and at the present time 
affords practically no protection from any of the classes debarred 
by the United States law except the physically or mentally 
defective, and this notwithstanding the fact that at several 
ports American consular officers actively participate in the 
inspection and are accorded the privilege of rejecting emigrants 
who are undesirable within the meaning of the United States 
immigration law. 

The system of emigrant inspection in force at Naples, Messina, 
and Palermo is of particular interest because of the somewhat 
prevalent belief that an examination by United States officers 
at ports of embarkation would prevent the sailing of persons 
who could not be admitted to the United States under the 
provisions of the immigration law. In his annual report for the 


fiscal year 1900 Honorable T. V. Powderly, Commissioner-General 
of Immigration, reiterated a recommendation that had been 
made in the two preceding reports of the bureau, as follows : 

That physicians representing the government be stationed at the 
foreign ports of embarkation for the purpose of examining into the 
physical condition of aliens who are about to embark for the United 
States. Experience of the ability and energy of the surgeons of the 
United States Marine-Hospital Service leaves no room for doubt that, 
should they be assigned to such duty, but few cases of this dangerous 
disease would be permitted to embark, and that, besides accomplish- 
ing the most important object of preventing the introduction of tra- 
choma (or other contagious diseases of the non-quarantinable class), 
the delay and trouble and uncertainty incident to examination at the 
ports of the United States, where limited accommodations and an 
ever increasing and continuous flow of arrivals necessitates a degree 
of expedition not always consistent with thoroughness, would be 

The late Frank P. Sargent, for many years Commissioner- 
General of Immigration, was an advocate of this policy, and in 
annual reports of the bureau repeatedly urged that it be adopted. 
In 1906 Commissioner- General Sargent, in referring to the exam- 
ination of immigrants, said : 

The ideal plan for controlling this situation, however, is the one that 
has been urged by the bureau for years, i.e., the stationing of United 
States medical officers abroad, with the requirement that all prospec- 
tive passengers shall be examined and passed by them as physically 
and mentally fit for landing in this country. This would prevent the 
emigration not only of those afflicted with contagious disease, but also 
of those afflicted with idiocy and insanity. 

Fortunately the plan so long and urgently advocated by Messrs. 
Powderly and Sargent has been in operation at Italian ports long 
enough to demonstrate its usefulness and to make possible a 
comparison of results between the inspection as conducted there 
and at other European ports. 

Since the only purpose of the medical inspection of emigrants 
at European ports of embarkation as here considered is to avoid 
rejections and penalities at United States ports, the only fair 
and adequate test of the efficiency of such examinations is the 
record of rejections by the United States Immigration Service. 


In order to apply this test, the commission secured from 
published records of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturali; 
tion data showing the number of alien immigrants arriving 
United States ports from the various ports of Europe and th 
number of such arrivals who were refused admission to th< 
United States for purely medical reasons. Tru's record covers ( 
six months of the year 1907, when the method of conducting 
medical examinations at the various European ports was as 
previously described. Thus the results are perfectly comparable. 

In the first place, it is of interest to note that the number de- 
barred is remarkably small when compared with the total number 
carried. This alone clearly illustrates the fact that as a whole the 
medical inspection of emigrants prior to embarkation at European 
ports is thoroughly effective. Only 0.36 per cent of the persons 
carried were debarred at United States ports for medical reasons, 
which is a much smaller proportion than were rejected at Italian 
ports and German control stations for the same causes. 

For the purpose of this study, however, figures would be 
chiefly interesting as illustrating the relative effectiveness of the 
examination at the various European ports under consideration. 
In the beginning it may be well to state that the class of emigrants 
carried from the various ports may and doubtless does affect the 
situation somewhat. For instance, practically all emigrants 
from Chris tiania are Scandinavians, and trachoma and favus, 
which are the principal causes of medical rejection at United 
States ports, do not prevail in Scandinavian countries. Every 
other port, however, is to a greater or less extent affected by one 
or both of these diseases. Copenhagen is perhaps only slightly 
affected, through emigration from Finland where trachoma is 
prevalent, and Glasgow, because relatively few continental 
emigrants sail from that port. Trachoma is not unknown in 
Ireland, but it does not exist to such an extent as in southern and 
eastern Europe, and consequently Queens town and Londonderry 
cannot perhaps be fairly classified with other ports with regard 
to the particular kinds of loathsome, contagious diseases which 
cause the rejection of so many aliens at United States ports. 

Liverpool, Southampton, and the continental ports, with the 
exception of Christiania and Copenhagen, all draw the greater 
part of their emigrant traffic from southern and eastern Europe, 


and while, of course, the degree to which the diseases under 
consideration prevail differs in various sections, nevertheless 
such diseases are sufficiently widespread to require a careful 
.'medical inspection of emigrants coming from those sections. Be- 
cause of this fact the results of the inspections at these ports 
are fairly comparable, which makes possible a reasonable test 
of the relative effectiveness of the different inspections. 

It will be noted from the preceding table that the percentage 
of rejections was smallest among emigrants embarking at Cher- 
bourg, only 3 rejections out of 2016 emigrants carried being 
recorded. This result is particularly noteworthy because Cher- 
bourg draws emigrant traffic from the Levantine countries where 
trachoma and favus are widespread, as well as from other southern 
and eastern European countries. Moreover, it is only a port of 
call and no elaborate system of medical inspection prevails there, 
the ship's doctor being the determining factor in the matter of 

The largest percentage of rejections occurs among emigrants 
embarking at Marseille, which is not surprising because of the 
fact that steerage passengers sailing from that port are largely 
drawn from Syria and countries of southern Europe where 
trachoma is particularly prevalent. 

A rather curious situation is found in comparing rejections 
among emigrants from the four ports of Antwerp, Bremen, Ham- 
burg, and Rotterdam. The steerage business of these four 
ports is very largely recruited in eastern Europe, and the class of 
emigrants embarking is much the same at each port. It is true 
also that the great majority of all emigrants embarking at the 
German ports, and a large part of those sailing from Antwerp 
and Rotterdam, are subjected to an inspection at the German 
control stations. Notwithstanding these facts, however, there 
is a wide difference in the proportion of persons embarking at 
the four ports who are debarred at United States ports for medical 
causes. These proportions are as follows : 

Bremen 110165 Hamburg 110312 

Rotterdam i to 279 Antwerp i to 565 

It is necessary to note in this connection that the thAe ports 
having the largest proportions rejected have excellent emigrant 


stations, superior facilities for handling emigrants, and elaborate 
and apparently thorough systems of inspection. At Bremen, 
which port makes by far the worst showing in the matter of 
debarments at United States ports, it will be remembered hat 
the determining factor in the matter of rejections is a physician 
in the employ of the American consulate, while at Antwerp, 
which shows relatively a very small proportion of emigrants 
rejected at United States ports, American consular or other 
officials have absolutely no part in the inspection. 

Most interesting of all, however, is a - comparison between 
Antwerp and Naples, for it will be recalled that the emigrant- 
inspection systems in force at these ports represent extremes, so 
far as American control is concerned, the inspection at Naples 1 
being entirely in the hands of the United States Public Health 
and Marine-Hospital surgeons. Measured by debarments at \ 
United States ports, however, the inspection at Antwerp is \ 
considerably more effective, for while the proportion refused 
admission to the United States is only i to 565 among emigrants 
embarking at that port, the proportion among emigrants sailing 
from Naples is i to 305. In the case of other Italian ports where 
American medical officers were in charge the proportion of 
emigrants debarred at the United States ports is as follows : 
Palermo, i to 215 ; Messina, i to 293 ; and Genoa, where during 
the period under consideration the medical inspection was made 
by ship's doctors, i to 421. It may be said, however, that the 
particular diseases for which emigrants are debarred at United 
States ports are not so prevalent among classes embarking at 
Genoa as at the more southern ports of Italy. 

A comparison between the Adriatic ports of Trieste and Fiume 
is interesting. At the latter port the medical inspection is made 
by a steamship company doctor and a physician employed by 
the American consul, but the Commission was informed that 
the examination by the former was so rigid that it had not been 
necessary for the consulate physician to reject any emigrants for 
some time previously. The American consul attends the examina- 
tions, but does not exercise unusual authority. At Trieste the 
medical inspection is made by resident physicians of the steamship 
company and the ship's doctor, while the American consul, at the 
time under consideration, exercised a greater degree of authority 

94 / CAUSES 

than /was exercised by such consular officers at any other Euro- 
pean/port. The consul informed the commission that he insisted 
on rejections not only for trachoma and favus, but for less con- 
spiouous physical defects as well. Experience at United States 
porp with emigrants from Fiume and Trieste indicates that, 
notwithstanding the great degree of authority exercised by the 
consul at the latter port, the inspection at Fiume is much more 
effective. In fact, the proportion debarred at United States ports 
ai/nong emigrants from Fiume is only i to 597, while the pro- 
>rtion debarred among emigrants sailing from Trieste is i to 
, 1 8 . The proportion debarred among emigrants embarking at the 
rreek ports of Patras and Piraeus is large, being i to 175 in the 
ise of the former, and i to 163 in the case of the latter. 







BY THE Treaty of Peace, which was signed at Paris on 
February loth, 1763, Great Britain gained possession 
of the whole of North America situated east of the Mississippi 
River, with the exception of the town of New Orleans and the 
neighboring district. She thus retained the original thirteen 
states, and added to her dominions the territory of Canada with 
all its dependencies, and the island of Cape Breton. 

For some few years prior to these diplomatic arrangements, 
the original British Colonies had been welcoming a steady inflow 
of immigrants from the Mother Country, and, as these maritime 
states suffered little or no change of administration following 
on the terms of peace, the human stream continued to find its 
way into them unaffected by the redistribution of political power 
between France and England. No authoritative data concern- 
ing the statistics of this migratory movement were preserved 
or even collected, but it is safe to say that its strength was by 
no means insignificant. A writer in the Gentleman's Magazine l 
'of 1774 gave figures to show that in the five years 1769-1774 no 
less than 43,720 people sailed from the five Irish ports of Lon- 
donderry, Belfast, Newry, Larne, and Portrush to various settle- 
ments on the Atlantic seaboard. These points of departure 
were thus responsible for an annual outgoing of at least 8740 

1 Op. cit., p. 332, Vol. XLIV. 


souls. Scotland was contributing even more, 1 at this time, to 
the /exodus than was Ireland, whilst England was also furnishing 
colonists, but to a lesser degree. From these facts it seems fair 
to assume that the home emigration to the English states across 
the Atlantic resulted in a displacement of quite twenty thousand 
souls per annum. 

The majority of the settlers within this area were drawn 
from the Highlands of Scotland and from Ireland generally. 
The Scots Magazine for the years 1771-1775 contains a number 
oi references to the emigration of these early times. 

We are informed [runs one paragraph], 2 that upwards of five hun- 
dred souls from Islay and the adjacent islands prepare to migrate 
next summer to America under the conduct of a gentleman of wealth 
and merit whose predecessors resided in Islay for many centuries 
past, and that there is a large colony of the most wealthy and sub- 
stantial people in Sky making ready to follow the example of the 
Argathelians'in going to the fertile and cheap lands on the other side 
of the Atlantic Ocean. 

Another quotation 3 says : 

In the beginning of June, 1772, about forty-eight families of poor 
people from Sutherland arrived at Edinburgh on their way to Greenock 
in order to imbark 4 for North America. Since that time, we have 
heard of two other companies, one of a hundred, another of ninety, 
being on their journey with the same intention. The cause of this 
emigration they assign to be want of the means of livelihood at home 
through the opulent grasiers ingrossing the farms and turning them 
into pasture. 

Perhaps a still more interesting quotation is the following : 5 

In the beginning of September, the Lord Advocate represented to 
the commissioners of the customs, the impropriety of clearing out 
any vessels from Scotland with emigrants for America : in consequence 
of which, orders were sent to the several custom-houses injoining 8 
them to grant no clearances to any ship for America which had more 
than the common complement of hands on board. 

1 Vide Annual Register, Scots Magazine, Gentleman's Magazine, etc., of a con- 
temporary date. 

2 Vol. XXXIII, p. 325, year 1 771. 
8 Vol. XXXIV, p. 395, year 1772. 

4 The original spelling is preserved. 

6 Scots Magazine, Vol. XXXVII, 1775, P- 523. 6 Original spelling. 


Summarizing the substance of these and other passages of a 
contemporary date, we may state that, between 1763 and 1775, 
emigration to the old British Colonies in North America was 
regularly and constantly practiced, that those who joined in 
the exodus were sometimes in possession of considerable sums of 
money, 1 that changes in agricultural economy were usually the 
cause of the unrest, and that the local authorities feared, but 
with little reason, that the outward streams might eventually 
depopulate the country. 

When Canada and its dependencies were placed under British 
rule, it became an obvious advantage for a proportion of our 
colonists to settle within this newly acquired territory. We 
find, therefore, that the Royal proclamation of 1763 authorized 
the free granting of land, within this area, to officers and soldiers 
who had served in the war ; it also encouraged British settlers, 
generally, by providing a General Assembly. 

The first to take up military settlements were the Frasers 
and Montgomeries, who chose Murray Bay as the site of their 
new homes; this they did in 1763. Farming was their chief 
occupation, but in 1775 they formed the first battalion of the 
Royal Highland Emigrants. Speaking of this regiment, the 
Scots Magazine for 1775 2 said : 

A ship sailed lately from Greenock for America with shoes, stock- 
ings, plaids, belts, etc., for a regiment of emigrants now raising by 
Government in America to be called the Royal Highland Emigrants. 
Mr. Murdoch Maclean of Edinburgh is appointed captain in them. 

Quickly following on the settlement of the Frasers and Mont- 
gomeries was that of a* party of British colonists who had pre- 
viously made their home in the New England states; they 
encamped at Maugerville, on the banks of the St. John River. 3 A 
third group of colonists came from Belfast and Londonderry, 
where they had been engaged in the wool trade. In 1767, the 
whole of Prince Edward Island was allotted to sixty-seven 
proprietors, chiefly Scotch, on condition that they should settle 
European Protestants or British Americans on their domains, 

1 " People sailed from Maryburgh and took at least 6000 with them." 
Scots Magazine, Vol. XXXV, p. 557. 2 Vol. XXXVII, p. 690. 

3 J. D. Rogers, "Historical Geography of the British Colonies" (Lucas), Vol. V, 
part 3, p. 81. 


a condition which they fulfilled by stocking the land exclusively 
with Highlanders, most of whom were of Roman Catholic faith, 
and with Dumfries men. 1 In 1772-1774, a number of Yorkshire 
Methodists settled at Sackville, New Brunswick, and Amherst, 
Nova Scotia. 2 Many other records of colonization in Canada 
may be mentioned, but it has been shown, with sufficient insist- 
ence, that the inflow from England, Ireland, and especially 
Scotland, during this period, was of an important nature. 

Though Canada had received great numbers of emigrants 
from the United Kingdom, th,ese were few in comparison with 
the crowds of men and women who entered this territory after 
the war broke out. The extent of this complex movement is but 
imperfectly understood. It is known, however, that the Loyalist 
migration into British territory flowed in two great streams, one 
by sea to Nova Scotia and the other overland to Canada. In 
this second stream were many Highland families which had only 
recently settled in the Colony of New York Macdonells, 
Chisholms, Grants, Camerons, M'Intyres and Fergusons. Promi- 
nent among these Highland families were the Macdonells, who 
were Roman Catholics from Glengarry in Inverness. In 1773, 
they had settled in the Mohawk Valley, but, when hostilities 
began, had flocked to the Loyalist banner; they afterwards 
went to Ontario and made their new homes in a country to which 
they gave the name of Glengarry. 3 This site was probably chosen 
because it bordered on the edge of Lower Canada, and so enabled 
the Highland Catholics to enter into a bond of religious sympathy 
with the adjacent French Catholics. 

Treating the movement in greater detail, it may be said that 
the Loyalists first entered the provinces of Nova Scotia and New 
Brunswick in 1783, and in the following year mustered 28,347 
souls. The older settlers of British descent in this area, it may 
be mentioned in parenthesis, only totaled fourteen thousand. 
Cape Breton Island attracted, roughly, three thousand settlers, 
whilst other streams of exiled humanity poured into the peninsula 
of Gaspe and the seignory of Sorel. In Upper Canada and the 
present province of Ontario, the refugees numbered some thirty 

1 J. D. Rogers, "Historical Geography of the British Colonies" (Lucas), Vol. V, 
part 3, p. 54. 

2 Ibid., p. 57. 3 J. Murray Gibbon, "Scots in Canada," pp. 63-65. 


thousand, but it is probable that this estimate includes at least 
a small proportion of reemigrated Loyalists from the maritime 
provinces, as the total movement was not supposed to exceed 
forty thousand in all. 1 

The Loyalists were drawn from almost all the original states, 
but Virginia and New York, their stronghold, provided the main 
body ; Connecticut also furnished an important element ; whilst 
Pennsylvania sent a slightly lesser number than Connecticut. 
From the town of Philadelphia, alone, three thousand people 
fled when the British Army withdrew. 

As a body, the United Loyalists fared badly in the early years 
of their settlement. Some drifted away, many complained of 
the long winters, and, had it not been for Government gifts of 
land, seed, food, clothing, and money, their plight would have 
been disastrous. Later, the more determined ones attained suc- 
cess and "made of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia sound and 
thriving provinces of the British Empire." 2 

The actual settlement of the Loyalists forms in itself an impor- 
tant chapter of colonial history, but the welcoming of these refu- 
gees from the south to the sparsely populated lands of Canada is 
to be remembered most for its effect on succeeding generations 
of emigrants. We must remember that, until the arrival of the 
Loyalists, most of the lands situated more than a few miles from 
the chief waterways were uninhabited, uncultivated, and more 
or less forbidding. But the Loyalists went in of sheer necessity 
and formed, as it were, the nucleus for later settlers. Thus, it is 
not too much to say that they laid the foundation for the west- 
ward extension of Canada as we know it to-day. 

In 1785, the men of Glengarry, Canada, induced a party of 
five hundred Scotch Glengarries to come and join them. In 
the Gazette of Quebec, under the date of September 7th, 1785, 
their coming was heralded as follows : 

Arrived, ship McDonald, Captain Robert Stevenson, from Green- 
ock with emigrants, nearly the whole of a parish in the north of 
Scotland, who emigranted with their priest (the Reverend Alexander 
Macdonell Scotus) and nineteen cabin passengers, together with five 
hundred and twenty steerage passengers, to better their case. 

1 Cf. Sir Charles Lucas, "History of Canada," 1763-1812, pp. 225-226. 

2 Sir Charles Lucas, "History of Canada," 1763-1812, p. 224. 


The success of these men of Glengarry induced others to follow. 
Apparently, Alexander Macdonell conducted a second party 
to Canada in the year 1791. In 1793, Captain Alexander M'Leod 
took out forty families of M'Leods, M'Guaigs, M'Gillwrays and 
M 'In toshes from Glenelg and placed them on land at Kirkhill, 
whilst a large party of Camerons from Lochiel, Scotland, settled 
in 1799 at Lochiel, Canada. 1 Other Highlanders went to Cape 
Breton Island, to the Niagara district, and to the shores of Lake Erie. 

In 1803, Lord Hobart, Secretary of State for the Colonies, 
wrote from Downing Street to Lieutenant-General Hunter, 
Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, the following letter : 2 

A body of Highlanders, mostly Macdonells, and partly disbanded 
soldiers of the Glengarry Fencible Regiment, with their families and 
immediate connections, are upon the point of quitting their present 
place of abode, with the design of following into Upper Canada some 
of their relatives who have already established themselves in that 

The merit and services of the Regiment, in which a proportion of 
these people have served, give them strong claims to any mark of 
favor and consideration which can consistently be extended to them : 
and with the encouragement usually afforded in the Province, they 
would no doubt prove as valuable settlers as their connections now 
residing in the District of Glengarry of whose industry and general 
good conduct very favorable representations have been received here. 

Government has been apprised of the situation and disposition 
of the families before described by Mr. Macdonell, one of the Ministers 
of their Church, and formerly Chaplain to the Glengarry Regiment, 
who possesses considerable influence with the whole body. 

He has undertaken, in the event of their absolute determination 
to carry into execution their plan of departure, to embark with them 
and direct their course to Canada. 

In case of their arrival within your Government, I am commanded 
by'His Majesty to authorize you to grant in the usual manner a tract of 
the unappropriated Crown lands in any part of the Province where they 
may wish to fix, in the proportion of 1200 acres to Mr. Macdonell, and 
two hundred acres to every family he may introduce into the Colony. 

The Highlanders in question arrived in due course, and were 
settled close to the lands taken by their kinsmen in 1783 and 1785. 

1 J. Murray Gibbon, " Scots in Canada," p. 70. 
2 Reprinted in " Scots in Canada," p. 70. 


Among the earliest organizers of colonization schemes in the 
nineteenth century may be placed Lord Selkirk. This Scotch- 
man banded together a number of thrifty farmers of his own race 
who had given up their highland territories, and escorted them 
to Prince Edward Island, where they were comfortably located 
on a settlement vacated by the French. The Government 
freely placed tracts of land at their disposal, but proffered no 
financial support. What money was necessary came either from 
Lord Selkirk or was derived from sales, held in the Old Country, 
of the settlers' stock. 1 

Three vessels were chartered to carry the eight hundred odd 
colonists across the Atlantic, and these reached their destination 
on the yth, gth, and 2yth of August, 1803. Selkirk took passage 
in one of the regular liners, and arrived in the island shortly 
after the first party had landed. The following account, 2 written 
by himself, is interesting in that it gives a capital insight into 
the early life of his settlers : 

I lost no time in proceeding to the spot, where I found that the 
people had already lodged themselves in temporary wigwams, con- 
structed after the fashion of the Indians, by setting up a number of 
poles in a conical fashion, tied together at top, and covered with 
boughs of trees. 

The settlers had spread themselves along the shore for the dis- 
tance of about half a mile, upon the site of an old French village, 
which had been destroyed and abandoned after the capture of the 
island by the British forces in 1758. The land, which had formerly 
been cleared of wood, was overgrown again with thickets of young 
trees, interspersed with grassy glades. I arrived at the place late 
in the evening, and it had then a very striking appearance. Each 
family had kindled a large fire near their wigwams, and round these 
were assembled groups of figures, whose peculiar national dress added 
to the singularity of the scene. 

Provisions, adequate to the whole demand, were purchased by 
an agent; he procured some cattle for beef in distant parts of the 
island, and also a large quantity of potatoes, which were brought 
by water carriage into the center of the settlement, and each family 
received their share within a short distance of their own residence. 

1 Edinburgh Review, Vol. VII, pp. 180-190. 

2 Observations on the Present State of the Highlands of Scotland, 1805. The 
passage has been reprinted recently in "Scots in Canada," p. 51, etc. 


To obviate the terrors which the woods were calculated to inspire, 
the settlement was not dispersed, as those of the Americans usually 
are, over a large tract of country, but concentrated within a moderate 
space. The lots were laid out in such a manner that there were gen- 
erally four or five families and sometimes more, who built their houses 
in a little knot together ; the distance between the adjacent hamjets 
seldom exceeded a mile. Each of them was inhabited by persons 
nearly related, who sometimes carried on their work in common, or, 
at least, were always at hand to come to each other's assistance. 

The settlers had every inducement to vigorous exertion from the 
nature of their tenures. They were allowed to purchase in fee simple, 
and to a certain extent on credit; from fifty to one hundred acres 
were allotted to each family at a very moderate price, but none was 
given gratuitously. To accommodate those who had no superfluity 
of capital, they were not required to pay the price in full till the third 
or fourth year of their possession. 

Selkirk remained in the colony for a month, and then set him- 
self the task of exploring the inland tracts of Upper Canada. 
Twelve months later he returned and made the following report : 1 

I found the settlers engaged in securing the harvest which their 
industry had procured. They had a small proportion of grain of 
various kinds, but potatoes were the principal crop ; these were of 
excellent quality and would have been alone sufficient for the entire 
support of the settlement. . . . The extent of land in cultivation 
at the different hamlets I found to be in the general proportion of 
two acres or thereabouts to each able working hand ; in many cases 
from three to four. Several boats had also been built, by means of 
which a considerable supply of fish had been obtained, and formed 
no trifling addition to the stock of provisions. Thus, in little more 
than a year, one year from the date of their landing on the island, 
had these people made themselves independent of any supply that 
did not arise from their own labor. 

So great was the success of Selkirk's first attempt at coloniza- 
tion that he made plans for a second scheme in 1811. In this 
year he leased lands from the Hudson's Bay Company, some 
two thousand square miles in extent, and stretching from Mani- 
toba to Minnesota. To this colony many shiploads of dispos- 
sessed Scotch farmers were sent, but neither he nor his officers 
fully appreciated the difficulties which were to confront them. 

1 Quoted from "Scots in Canada," pp. 54, 55. 


Selkirk did not seem to realize that the establishment of a colony 
in the then unknown West was quite a different matter to organ- 
izing -an encampment on the accessible shores of Prince Edward 
Island. From the very outset, the second expedition proved 
disastrous. Not only were the colonists improperly equipped for 
carrying on agricultural pursuits in such remote parts, but the 
position of their settlement brought them into conflict with the 
Northwest traders. The newly acquired farm lands, it must be 
explained, lay across the trading routes leading into the interior 
and, therefore, constituted a menace to the hunting expeditions 
of the half-breeds. As a consequence, these latter determined to 
rid the locality of the newcomers, which they did in 1815 by pil- 
laging and burning the farms belonging to Selkirk's tenantry. 
More than a half of the sufferers, however, took up settle- 
ments in other parts of the country, chiefly around St. Thomas 
and London in Ontario, but their ultimate fate is uncertain. 

Closely following the schemes of Selkirk came that of Colonel 
Talbot, a member of the Lieu tenant- Governor's staff in Canada. 
From various parts of the United Kingdom, but specially from 
Scotland, he collected some two thousand men, women, and 
children, probably during the year 1813, and settled them at 
Port Talbot on Lake Erie. To this nucleus of settlers he annually 
added other emigrants, until in 1823 it was reported that he had 
under his control no less than twelve thousand souls. The 
financial burden of his undertaking was probably borne jointly 
by the British Government and the Canadian Legislature, the 
former finding the passage money, and the latter providing the 
food supplies. On this matter, however, some uncertainty exists, 
but it is recognized that his followers were too poor to provide 
for themselves, whilst Colonel Talbot, we know, received pay- 
ment for his services. As to the success of the scheme, the Report 
says that the people who emigrated were of the poorest descrip- 
tion, but, when last heard of, were as independent and contented 
a band of yeomanry as any in the world. 1 

1 The following is interesting in that it is a copy of a leaflet which was handed 
to each of Talbot's original settlers : 

"On application made to the superintendent of the land granting department 
of the district in which he proposes to settle, the colonist will obtain a ticket of 
location, for a certain quantity of land ; furnished with this, his first care ought 


Selkirk and Talbot had few contemporary imitators, for 
between 1806 and 1815 Napoleon was harassing Europe, and 
men found employment in connection with military and transport 
operations, not needing for the time, the possibilities which a 
colonial life offered them. 

The period of 1783-1815 is important, in that it paved the way 
for the movement which was to assume such notable proportions 
during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Without the 
inrush of Loyalist settlers to Canada in the closing years of the 
eighteenth century, the map of British North America, to-day, 
would probably present a very different aspect. It was these 
sturdy men and women who broke down the barriers of forests 
and wildernesses which seemed impenetrable, and opened the 
course for later settlement. In comparison with the volume of 
the present outflow, the emigrants of this early period were, of 
course, insignificant in numbers, but they were pioneers and 
made history and must be valued accordingly. Their actual 
labors, commercial and agricultural, were of no great moment, 
for they had many difficulties with which to contend. In Lower 
Canada, financial conditions were oppressive : land tenure, 
everywhere, bred discontent, whilst discord with the rebel 
neighbors of the south proved a constant source of danger. 

Major-General T. Bland Strange, in the United Service Maga- 
zine, May, 1903, pp. 151-152, writes: 

to be to select a proper situation for his house. This should be placed, as near as 
may be, to the public road on which his lot abuts, and contiguous, if possible, to 
a spring or run of water. Having chosen his spot, he then sets about clearing a 
sufficient space to erect his house on, taking care to cut down all the large trees 
within the distance of at least 100 feet. The dimensions of the house are generally 
20 feet by 1 8 feet, and the timber used in constructing the walls, consisting of the 
rough stems of trees cut into those lengths, is not to exceed 2 feet in diameter ; the 
height of the roof is commonly about 13 feet, which affords a ground- room and one 
overhead ; the house is roofed in with shingles (a sort of wooden tiles) split out of 
the oak, chestnut, or pine timber ; a door, windows, and an aperture for the chimney 
at one end, are next cut out of the walls, the spaces between the logs being filled 
up with split wood, and afterwards plastered both inside and out with clay and 
mortar, which renders it perfectly warm. When once the necessary space for the 
house is cleared and the logs for the walls collected on the spot, the expense and 
labor of the settler in erecting his habitation is a mere trifle ; it being an established 
custom among the neighboring settlers to give their assistance in the raising of it ; 
and the whole is performed in a few hours. The settler having now a house over 
his head commences clearing a sufficient quantity of land to raise the annual supply 
of provisions required for his family." 


The British effort at military colonization, after the conquest by 
Wolfe, proved futile. The Eraser Highlanders were disbanded and 
settled at Murray Bay, on the St. Lawrence, but as no Scotch lassies 
were provided, they married the lively little French girls, whose creed, 
language, and nationality they adopted; the only traces of their 
Highland descent are their names and red hair. At the close of the 
Peninsular War, individual naval and military officers settled in what 
was called Upper Canada, but no systematic effort was made to en- 
courage the settlement of the rank and file quite the contrary, 
from that day to this, everything has been done to discourage it. 
Under the administration of Mr. Cardwell, the garrisons were with- 
drawn from all the Colonies suitable for settlement by white soldiers. 
The old Royal Canadian Rifles, composed of Volunteers from various 
British regiments, were struck off the Army list, as also the old Cape 
Mounted Rifles, and the emigration of officers was checked by a Royal 
warrant subjecting them to loss of pension, should they elect to serve 
under any Colonial Government. At the close of the Crimean War, 
the only soldiers assisted to emigrate, and given grants of land, were 
the German Legion whom we settled in South Africa, though they 
never fired a shot for us ; some of their descendants probably fought 
against us in the late war. Our own British-born soldiers of the 
Crimean War and Indian Mutiny were, in many cases, left to die in 
the workhouse, as the shorter periods of service then introduced 
deprived them of the right of pension. At the close of these wars, 
the reductions in our arsenals and dockyards drove large numbers 
of mechanics, some of whom were ex-soldiers and sailors, with their 
families, to the United States, whose industries, especially of war 
material, largely benefited thereby. According to Lord Charles 
Beresford something similar is now going on in his constituency 
at Woolwich. 

The earlier settlement by the Pilgrim Fathers was on independent 
lines, assisted in the Southern States, as later in Australia, by the trans- 
portation of convicts, sometimes for slight offences, who in many 
instances became good citizens. 


Though emigration from the United Kingdom to North 
America had begun on a limited scale in the early part of the 
seventeenth century 1 and had grown in volume during the 

1 Colonization Circular, 1877, p. 7. 


eighteenth, no official returns relating to the extent of the exodus 
were made until 1815. In this year, the great war, in which 
England had for so long been engaged, terminated, and men 
turned to emigration as though it were the one panacea for all 
social ills. 1 In 1815, the outflow to North America stood at 1889 
persons; it then grew annually with slight fluctuations until 
1852, when the enormous total of 277,134 was reached, an exodus 
which is, considering the volume of people from which it was 
drawn, 2 probably without parallel in the history of any civilized 
country. The years 1846 to 1854, inclusive, were remarkable 
for their high rate of departures, but, after 1854, a sudden and, 
with some fluctuations, a continued shrinkage took place until 
in 1 86 1 the numbers dropped to 62,471, the smallest emigration 
since 1844. The Crimean War, 1854-1856, and the Indian Mu- 
tiny, 1857-1859, which caused an increased demand for young 
men in the army and navy, were largely responsible for the 
falling off in the returns of this period. Between 1861 and 1869 
the exodus took an upward tendency, and, in this latter year, 
acute distress at home made the figures rise to 236,892, and they 
remained somewhat high until 1873. The middle seventies 
proved a period of diminished emigration, but the ebb was 
soon followed by a copious flow, for, in the year 1882, the impor- 
tant total of 349,014 was reached. Recent times have shown 
somewhat high figures; in fact, for every year since 1903, with 
the exception of 1908, an exodus to North America of over three 
hundred thousand has been returned. In 1910, the outward 
stream numbered 499,669, and, in 1911, 464,330 souls. 

The above figures require some qualification. The early records 
refer almost entirely to men and women of British nationality ; 
the later ones speak of the volume of traffic as carried by the 
Atlantic transport concerns and so contain an important foreign 
element. It is thus misleading to make comparisons without 
duly allowing for this change in the composition of the exodus. 
A second point to note is that, at the present time, the outward 
passengers are largely counterbalanced by the inward passengers, 
but, prior to the sixties, the inward passengers were few compared 

1 Cf. J. D. Rogers, "Historical Geography of Canada" (Lucas), p. 67. 

2 Census of 1851. England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland; population given as 


with the outward. Thus, net emigration to-day is found by sub- 
tracting the incoming from the outgoing stream, but net emi- 
gration until about the year 1860 was the total outflow with 
few or no deductions whatever. A third point to note is that the 
total population of the three kingdoms has grown considerably 
since the year 1815 ; it is thus misleading to compare, say, the 
277,134 emigrants of the year 1852 with the 499,669 emigrants 
of 1910 without taking into consideration the gross populations 
of these two years. Certain statistics which deal with this 
matter, state that the proportion of emigration to the population 
was 0.84 per cent between 1853 and 1855, but only 0.39 per cent 
in the period 1906-1910. Thus the exodus from the Mother 
Country was, in reality, more remarkable in the earlier than in 
the later period. 

Of the 983,227 emigrants who left the United Kingdom for 
all destinations, prior to 1840, 499,899, or more than half, went 
to British North America; of the remainder, 417,765 went to 
the United States, and 58,449 to the Australian Colonies, includ- 
ing New Zealand. Since 1834, however, the total annual migra- 
tion to the United States has always exceeded that proceeding 
to Canada, but it must be mentioned that when British emigrants 
as distinct from all emigrants from Britain are considered, it 
will be found that, on two occasions since 1880, Canada has 
welcomed more men and women than the United States. This 
happened in the last two years of the period, 1910 and 1911. 

The history of emigration in the nineteenth and twentieth 
century may be traced from the Government reports and papers 
which have, from time to time, been published. The first of these 
documents, which was devoted solely to a consideration of the 
present subject, was the report of the Select Committee which 
sat in 1826 to consider emigration from the United Kingdom. 
From this report we learn that the Government first gave its 
serious attention to the matter in 1820. In that and the following 
years many debates were held in both Houses of Parliament 
to discuss its value as a remedy for the social distress which then 
existed in the home country. 1 As a result of these debates, the 
select committees of 1826 and 1827 were appointed. 

1 Cf. Hansard, "Parliamentary Debates," Vol. XII, p. 1358 ; Vol. XIV, p. 1360; 
Vol. XVI, pp. 142, 227, 475, 653. 


The Committee of 1826 reported generally on the evidence 
placed before it, and stated that there was a greater amount of 
laboring population in the United Kingdom than could be 
profitably employed, and that the British Colonies afforded a 
field where the excess could be disposed of with advantage. The 
Committee of 1827 entered further into detail and pointed out 
more specifically the nature and extent of the assistance which 
it would recommend to be given to emigration from national 
resources. The Bishop of Limerick, who appeared before the 
earlier body, said : 

The evil is pressing and immediate. It calls, therefore, for an 
immediate remedy. Take any system of home relief, it must be grad- 
ual in its operation : before it can be brought to bear, the present 
sufferers will have died off, and others will have supplied their place, 
but not without a dreadful course of intermediate horrors. Now, 
Emigration is an instantaneous relief, it is what bleeding would be to 
an apoplectic patient. The sufferers are at once taken away : and, 
be it observed, from a country where they are a nuisance and a pest, 
to a country where they will be a benefit and a blessing. Meantime, 
so far as displaced tenants are taken away, the landlords, aided by 
existing laws, and especially by the Act now about to be passed (Sir 
Henry ParnelPs Act), will have it in their power to check the growth 
of population, somewhat in the same way as, after removing redundant 
blood, a skillful physician will try to prevent the human frame from 
generating more than what is requisite for a healthful state. 1 

The committee called a considerable number of witnesses and 
repeatedly put the following question to those giving evidence : 

Were the Government to advance an indigent man his passage 
money and provide him with a homestead, could he be expected to 
repay the loan at the rate of 5 per annum, commencing after his 
fifth year of residence ? 

Most witnesses replied in the affirmative, with the result 
that the committees suggested that the Treasury should advance 
a sum of about ten thousand pounds, with which it was proposed 
to form a loan fund for emigrants. The essence of this report 
is contained in the following extract : 

Your Committee cannot but express their opinion that a more 
effectual remedy than any temporary palliative is to be found in the 
1 Page 142 of first Report. 


removal of that excess of labor by which the condition of the whole 
laboring classes is deteriorated and degraded. The question of 
emigration from Ireland is decided by the population itself, and that 
which remains for the Legislature to decide is, whether it shall be 
turned to the improvement of the British North American Colonies, 
or whether it shall be suffered and encouraged to take that which 
will be and is its inevitable course, to deluge Great Britain with pov- 
erty and wretchedness and gradually but certainly to equalize the 
state of the English and Irish peasantry. Two different rates of wages 
and two different conditions of the laboring classes cannot perma- 
nently coexist. One of two results appears to be inevitable : the Irish 
population must be raised towards the standard of the English or 
the English depressed towards that of the Irish. The question whether 
an extensive plan of emigration shall or shall not be adopted appears 
to your Committee to resolve itself into the simple point whether 
the wheat-fed population of Great Britain shall or shall not be sup- 
planted by the potato-fed population of Ireland ? 

Resulting from the advice contained in this report, a letter 
was sent to Colonel Cockburn on January 26th, 1827, from Down- 
ing Street, stating that His Majesty's Government required 
him to survey three hundred thousand acres of waste land in 
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, and 
to make preparation for the reception of about ten thousand 
souls. He was to proceed to these places without delay, to confer 
with the lieutenant governors of these provinces, to inspect, 
personally, the land, and, above all, he was to keep in mind the 
advantage to be derived from placing new settlements as near 
to inhabited parts of the country as possible. One month's 
provisions were actually to be stored at each settlement previous 
to the arrival of the emigrants. There was one proviso added 
to these plans. All was to be ready, were the assisted people to 
proceed, but should their exodus be deferred or abandoned, 
Colonel Cockburn was to cancel his arrangements. 

The projects were abandoned, and Colonel Cockburn was 
called upon to nullify the arrangements on which he had spent 
so much labor. The reasons for this change of policy were 
threefold. Suitable land could not be found of the requisite 
quantities in the provinces mentioned; coin of the realm was 
so scarce that it was felt that the emigrants would not be able 
to repay their indebtedness with anything but produce, which 


the Government could not undertake to accept, and, finally, 
there were fears that a man might leave his homestead and jour- 
ney into the United States and so shirk his liability. 

Although the loan was refused by the Treasury on this occasion, 
grants in aid of emigration were made by Parliament in iSig, 1 
1821, 1823, 1825, and 1827 amounting to 50,000, 68,760, 
15,000, 30,000 and 20,480 respectively. In 1834, an Act 
was passed enabling parishes to mortgage their rates and to 
spend a sum not exceeding 10 a head on emigration. In the 
same year emigration agents were placed at various ports of the 
United Kingdom, and from that time until 1878 sums varying 
in amount up to 25,000 were voted annually by Parliament 
for purposes of promoting the removal of indigent people from 
this country. The money, however, was mostly spent on direct- 
ing the flow of human beings to Australia. 

In 1830, a searching inquiry into the state of the Irish Poor was 
undertaken by the House of Commons, and the report, 2 which 
was subsequently communicated to the House of Lords, said : 

Emigration, as a remedial measure, is more applicable to Ireland 
than to any other part of the Empire. The main cause which pro- 
duces the influx of Irish laborers into Britain is undoubtedly the 
higher rate of wages which prevails in one island than in the other. 
Emigration from Great Britain, if effectual as a remedy, must tend 
to raise the rate of wages in the latter country, and thus to increase 
the temptation of the immigration (i.e. into England and Scotland) of 
the Irish laborer. Colonization from Ireland, on the contrary, by rais- 
ing the rate of wages in the latter country, diminishes this inducement 
and lessens the number of Irish laborers in the British market. 

From about the year 1830, the views put forward by Mr. 
E. G. Wakefield 3 grew in popularity. His efforts were directed 
to the discovery of means whereby capital and labor might be 

1 Page 327 of the Report on Agricultural Settlements says that the grant of 
1819 does not seem to have been spent. There is, however, ample evidence to show 
that a sum of 50,000 was spent on the Albany settlers in the year in question. 
Of this there is abundant though perhaps not official testimony. .Surely this ex- 
penditure is the grant of 1819. 

2 Report of the Committee appointed to inquire into the state of the Poorer 
Classes in Ireland and the best means of improving their condition. 

3 Vide "The Art of Colonization." 


introduced into a colony in such a manner and in such propor- 
tions as to lead to its more stable development. He disapproved 
not only of the form of emigration which was then in vogue, but 
also of the system of making free grants of colonial lands. Land, 
he held, should not be given gratuitously, but should be sold 
and the proceeds used in conveying other emigrants to the colony. 
The basis of all successful colonization, he once wrote, 1 lies in 
keeping a certain ratio between the amount of alienated land 
and the amount of labor available in any colony. If land be 
given away lavishly, the ratio immediately breaks down, for 
laborers speedily become landowners and capitalists suffer 
from an urgent want of labor. When, however, tracts are 
sold and the money so obtained is used in conveying further 
batches of emigrants to the colony, the ratio holds good, for the 
more the sales, the more the labor which can be introduced by 
the proceeds of the sales and the more the labor which can find 
remunerative employment. Obviously, his system demanded 
that the selling price of real property should be carefully adjusted, 
from time to time, with the amount of available labor. 

The views of Wakefield were carried out in a few of the settle- 
ments of the Australian Colonies, and some effect was given to 
them by the South Australian Act and the Australian Land Act 
of 1842. But Gibbon Wakefield did more than theorize on ques- 
tions affecting real property. Before he studied the question of 
emigration, people had looked upon life in the colonies as socially 
degrading, and having much in common with penal transporta- 
tion, but with the spreading of his teachings they grew to consider 
it a means whereby individuals might improve their position 
as well as a factor which would strengthen the Empire by the 
foundation of overseas dominions. 2 

In 1831, a Government commission on Emigration was formed 
and, in the same year, the commissioners reported that from an 
annual average of about nine thousand during the first ten years 
after the Peace, the inflow to Canada had increased in the five 
years ending with 1831 to an annual average of more than twenty 
thousand, also that these great multitudes of people had mostly 

1 In "The Art of Colonization." 

2 Report of the Committee on Agricultural Settlements in British Colonies, 
Vol. I, 1906, p. 2. 


gone out by their own means and disposed of themselves through 
their own efforts without any serious or lasting inconvenience. 
The commissioners did not propose, therefore, to interfere 
by a direct grant of money with a practice which appeared to 
thrive so well spontaneously. They recognized, probably, how 
vast an outlay would be necessary to carry on the business to a 
corresponding extent through public funds, while it must always 
have remained to be seen whether any immediate interposition 
of the Government could have provided for such multifarious 
bodies so well as individual judgment and energy, stimulated by 
the sense of self-dependence. 

The commissioners, therefore, contented themselves, in regard 
to the North American Colonies, with collecting, publishing, and 
diffusing, as widely as possible, correct accounts of prices and 
wages, and with pointing out the impositions against which emi- 
grants should be most on their guard. This body was dissolved, 
however, in 1832 and the practical working of its recommenda- 
tions entrusted to the Colonial Department. 1 

In 1838, Lord Durham held an inquiry into the unrest then 
existing in Upper and Lower Canada ; his observations, together 
with the views of Gibbon Wakefield and Charles Buller, 2 appeared 
as a Blue Book in January, 1839. After discussing the differences 
which gave rise to friction between the French and British in- 
habitants, the report dealt somewhat fully with the evils encom- 
passing the lot of the emigrant, the want of administration which 
characterized the action of the Colonial authorities, and the 
unsatisfactory systems then in vogue of granting land. Durham 
advised that self-government should be given to Canada, but, 
in addition to this important recommendation, suggested that 
emigration to these areas should be made more attractive, 3 that 
the lands should be efficiently surveyed, and that a judicious 
system of colonization should be introduced. 

1 Report to the Secretary of State for the Colonies from the Agent-General for 
Emigration, April 28, 1838, No. 388, p. 3. 

2 Vide Sir Charles Lucas Lord Durham's Report, Vol. Ill, p. 336, etc., and 
especially page 351, for account of Durham's mission. 

1 "All the gentlemen whose evidence I have last quoted are warm advocates 
of systematic emigration. I object, along with them, only to such emigration as 
now takes place without forethought, preparation, method, or system of any kind." 
Lord Durham's Report on the Affairs of British North America, Vol. I, p. 189. 


Buller complained that though emigration to Canada was 
more or less unsatisfactory yet people were content to allow the 
system to continue unchallenged. "This misconception is un- 
doubtedly attributable, in a great degree," he said, "to the cir- 
cumstance that all evidence obtained on the subject was collected 
in the country from which the emigrants departed, instead of 
that at which they arrived. Had the position of the inquiries 
been reversed, they must have arrived at very different conclu- 
sions, and have discovered that no emigration so imperatively 
demanded the regulating interposition of the Legislature as that 
for which they specially refused to provide." x Buller then went 
on to point out the trials which beset the emigrant on landing 
in Canada. 2 It was the duty of the Government, he affirmed, 
to organize the outflow to North America just as much as that 
to Australia. There may be a difference in the character and 
circumstances of the movement to the two regions, he argued, 
but none so great as to free the former from all interference, 
while the latter was to a great extent officially regulated. 

Buller summarized his views as follows : 3 

The measures which Government have adopted are deplorably 
defective. They have left untouched some of the chief evils of emi- 
gration, and have very incompletely remedied those even against 
which they were specially directed. Although the safeguards for 
the emigrant during the passage are increased, and, in many places, 
enforced, yet there is still no check of any sort whatever over a large 
proportion of the emigrant vessels. 4 The provisions for the reception 
of emigrants at Quebec, so far as the Government is concerned, are 
of the most inefficient and unsatisfactory character : and the poorer 
classes would have to find their way as they best might to the Upper 
Provinces, or to the United States, were it not for the operation of 
societies whose main object is not the advantage of emigrants, but 
to free the cities of Quebec and Montreal from the intolerable nuisance 
of a crowd of unemployed, miserable, and, too often, diseased per- 
sons. The Government agent at Quebec has no power ; he has not 
even any rules for his guidance. At Montreal there has not been any 
agent for the last two years. The whole extent, therefore, of the 

1 Report, p. 225. 

2 Vide Chapter VII. "The Reception of Immigrants." 

3 Report, p. 227. 

4 I.e. those carrying fewer passengers than constitute an emigrants' ship. 


Government interference has been to establish in England agents to 
superintend the enforcement of the provisions of the Passengers' 
Acts, in respect of the emigrants from some ports, and to maintain 
an agent in -the Province of Lower Canada to observe rather than 
regulate the emigration into that province. 

I would recommend, therefore, that a specified portion of the prod- 
uce of the wild-land tax and of the future sales of land and timber 
should be applied in providing for emigration : a part in furnishing 
free passage to emigrants of the most desirable age, as far as may be 
of both sexes in equal numbers, and part in defraying any expenses 
occasioned by the superintendence of the emigration of those to whom, 
in conformity with this rule, or from other circumstances, a free pas- 
sage cannot be offered. 

The whole emigration from the United Kingdom should be so 
far placed under the superintendence of Government that emigrants 
conveyed at the public expense should necessarily proceed in vessels 
chartered and regulated by the Government, and that all persons 
willing to pay for their own passage should be entitled to proceed in 
vessels so chartered and regulated at a cost for the passage not exceed- 
ing the charge in private vessels. Proper means of shelter and trans- 
port should be provided at the different ports in the Colonies to which 
emigrants proceed ; and they should be forwarded to the place where 
they can obtain employment under the direction of responsible agents 
acting under central authority. 

When, in 1845, the Great Famine overtook Ireland with such 
disastrous results, a Select Committee was appointed to consider 
the means by which colonization might be employed to alleviate 
the sufferings which were then existing in that country. After 
examining the causes which had brought about the crisis, the 
Committee directed its attentions to an inquiry into the follow- 
ing matters : 

1. The capacity which certain Colonies possessed for absorbing 
European labor. 

2. The extent to which a supply of labour might be safely intro- 
duced into the various Colonies. 

3. -The effect of an increased supply of emigrant labor on the 
productiveness and value of Colonial land. 

4. The effect which colonization would probably produce on the 
investment of British capital within the colony to which such coloni- 
zation might be directed. 


5. The effect which might be anticipated by the promotion or 
encouragement of works of undisputed usefulness, such as the rail- 
roads projected in British North America. 

6. The effect of an augmented population in the British Colonies, 
not only in increasing their wealth, their agricultural, mineral, and 
commercial resources, but in adding to their strength and means of 
defense and thus consolidating and securing the power of the Empire. 

Unfortunately, little or no good came of the inquiry. Char- 
itable societies continued to do their utmost to alleviate the 
sufferings of the afflicted people, but governmental action was 
in no wise accelerated as a result of the inquiry. 

In consequence of the representations made by Lord Dur- 
ham, the Colonial Land and Emigration Department was 
founded in 1840. The principal functions of this body were to 
collect and diffuse statistical information pertaining to the 
Colonies, to effect sales of colonial lands in Australia, to promote 
by the proceeds of such sales emigration to the Colonies in which 
the sales had occurred, to superintend, generally, all emigration 
movements connected with this country and its dependencies, 
and, lastly, to carry into execution the Passengers' Acts. 1 

The operations of the board were fluctuating, but between 
1847 an d 1869 they sent out 339,338 emigrants at a cost of 
4,864,000 of which 532,000 was provided by those taking 
part in the exodus or their friends, and the rest by colonial funds. 
The arrangements were mostly concerned with Australia. 

In their thirty-third report, under the date of April 3oth, 
1873, the Chief Commissioner wrote : 

My Lord, We have the honor to submit to your Lordship our 
Report on Emigration for the year 1872. As the administration of 
the Passengers' Act has been intrusted by the Act of last session 
(35 and 36 Viet. c. 73) to the Board of Trade, this is the last report 

1 Lord John Russell's instructions to the Emigration Commissioners, January 
I4th, 1840 (Government paper, No. 35) : 

"In your capacity of a General Board for the sale of lands and for promoting 
emigration, your duties may be conveniently arranged under the four following 
heads. First, the collection and diffusion of accurate statistical knowledge; sec- 
ondly, the sale in this country of waste lands in the colonies ; thirdly, the applica- 
tion of the proceeds of such sales towards the removal of emigrants ; and, fourthly, 
the rendering of periodical accounts, both pecuniary and statistical, of your adminis- 
tration of this trust." 


we shall have to make to the Secretary of State on emigration from 
this country. 

Other functions which they performed had been gradually 
taken from them as the Colonies, one by one, became self- 
governing. After the Act of 1872 their sole duties consisted in 
controlling the movement of coolie labor, and, when each 
commissioner retired, his post was allowed to lapse. The last 
commissioner withdrew in 1878. Between 1873 an< ^ I ^77 a 
Colonization Circular was published annually. 

In 1880, the Canadian authorities approached the Home 
Government with a colonization scheme by which the latter 
should advance moneys, about 80 per family, for meeting 
expenses incurred in transporting and settling poor families from 
Ireland on plots situated in the Northwest Provinces. The 
Canadian Government was to give each settler 160 acres of land, 
upon which the advance was to be secured by a first charge, but 
they were to undertake no guarantee for the repayment of such 
advance. It was intended to carry out the scheme through a 
commission or association. These proposals were submitted to 
the Irish authorities, who took no action in the matter. 1 The 
reasons for allowing the proposal to lapse were never definitely 
stated, but it may be conjectured that the home authorities were 
dissatisfied, first, with the guarantees, and, secondly, with the 
refusal of the Canadian officials to undertake the task of collect- 
ing the repayments. 

In 1883, the Northwest Land Company of Canada empow- 
ered Sir George Stephen to place another proposal before the 
Imperial Parliament. The basis of this scheme was as follows : 
the Government was to lend the company a million pounds for 
ten years, free of interest, and in consideration of this loan the 
company would undertake to remove ten thousand families, 
say fifty thousand people, from the west of Ireland and settle 
them in the northwest of Canada. 

In the ordinary way the Canadian Government was prepared 
to give each head of a family 160 acres of land, and the company 
proposed to supply him with a house, a cow, implements, and 
everything necessary to insure a fair start, even to providing 
sufficient plowing and seeding for the first year's crop. The 
1 Report on Colonization, 1891, Appendix, p. 45, par. i. 


company also agreed to meet all expenditure incidental to the 
removal and settlement of the emigrants. It was thus submitted 
that the cost to the Home Government would only be the interest 
on 100 for ten years, say, at the rate of 2-J per cent, 25 per 
family. The emigrants themselves, however, were to be called 
upon to pay certain moderate charges to the company. This 
scheme received the warm support of the Colonial Office and the 
Irish Government, though the latter made two requests which 
were approved by the Treasury, viz. (a) that the emigrants 
should be drawn in entire families from the congested districts 
only, and (b) that the holding of each emigrating family should 
be consolidated with a neighboring holding. 

The proposal, it must be added, was abandoned because the 
Treasury thought it necessary to stipulate that the Dominion 
Government should make itself responsible for recovering the 
advances from the settlers, both principal and interest, a burden 
which the Canadian authorities declined to undertake on polit- 
ical grounds. 1 Other schemes of emigration were suggested from 
time to time, but all suffered rejection, as the Home Govern- 
ment was temporarily averse to considering any which returned 
less than 3^- per cent interest on the capital involved, and in 
which they were not relieved of all financial liability. 

The prolonged depression amongst the working classes which 
lasted between 1884 and 1886, however, forced the Government 
to change its views, and Mr. Rathbone 2 wrote : 3 

In the autumn of 1887 Lord Lothian asked the land companies 
if they would renew their proposals; but they declined to do so, 
stating that the circumstances had altered (though in what way did 
not appear) and the scheme which was eventually agreed upon was 
far less favorable to the Government, in that there was no guarantee 
by the companies for repayment even of the capital. 

The scheme to which Mr. Rathbone referred was the Crofters' 
Colonization Scheme of 1888 and 1889. 

As a result of numerous representations made to the Gov- 
ernment by philanthropists who viewed emigration with favor, 
the Emigrants' Information Office was opened in October, 1886. 

1 Report on Colonization, 1891, Appendix, p. 45, par. 2. 

2 A member of the Colonization Committee of 1891. 

3 Report on Colonization, 1891, Appendix, p. 46, par. 3. 


From its inception this Institution has been placed under the 
control of the Colonial Office. It is subsidized by Government 
but managed by a voluntary unpaid committee. 1 The committee 
included members of parliament, philanthropists, and repre- 
sentatives of the working classes. The Secretary of State for 
the Colonies is nominally President of the committee, but does 
not actually preside. He nominates the members of the commit- 
tee, and all points on which any serious doubt arises are referred 
for his decision, but the expenditure of the Parliamentary grant 
and the management and working of the office are left to the 
discretion of the committee. 

The Government at the outset allowed an annual sum of 650 
to cover rent of rooms and all office expenses, in addition to free 
printing and postage. After the report of the Colonization Com- 
mittee in 1891 the sum was raised to 1000 and the grant became 
subsequently increased to 1500. 

Originally the scope of the office was confined to the British 
Colonies and to those Colonies, only, which are outside the tropics, 
and are thus fields of emigration in the ordinary sense. It was 
found necessary, however, to widen its sphere and to give in- 
formation though more limited in extent not only as to 
certain tropical colonies, but also, from time to time, concerning 
various foreign countries ; and especially it has been found neces- 
sary to issue warnings in cases where, as, for example, in the case 
of Brazil, it has seemed desirable to discourage emigration from 
the Mother Country. 

In regard to foreign countries, the committee derives its 
information almost entirely through the Foreign Office and His 
Majesty's representatives abroad. In regard to the British 
Colonies, information is supplied partly by official, partly by 
unofficial sources. 

In June and July of the year 1889 a Select Committee of the 
House of Commons sat to " inquire into various schemes which 
have been proposed to Her Majesty's Government in order to 
facilitate emigration from the congested districts of the United 
Kingdom to the British Colonies or elsewhere ; to examine into 
the results of any schemes which have received practical trial 
in recent years ; and to report generally whether, in their opinion, 

1 The Chairman, who is a member of the Colonial Office, is paid. 


it is desirable that further facilities should be given to promote 
emigration; and, if so, upon the means by and the conditions 
under which such emigration can best be carried out, and the 
quarters to which it can most advantageously be directed." 1 
After having examined nine witnesses the following interim report 
was issued towards the end of the month of July : 

Your Committee are of opinion that at this late period of the 
Session it will not be in their power to conclude their investigations ; 
they have therefore agreed to report the evidence, already taken, to 
the House, and to recommend that a committee on the same subject 
should be appointed early in the next Session of Parliament. 2 

The committee again sat in 1890, and for a third time in 1891. 
It was in the latter year that the following summary of their 
conclusions was issued : 

1. Your Committee have no grounds for thinking that the 
present condition of the United Kingdom generally calls for any 
general scheme of state-organized colonization or emigration. 

2. The powers in possession of local authorities should be 
sufficient to enable them, at no onerous risk, to assist in the coloni- 
zation or emigration of persons or families from their own localities. 

3. The congested districts of Ireland and of the Highlands 
and Islands of Scotland form an exceptional case and require relief 
by assistance to industries, to colonization or emigration, and, where 
suitable, to migration. 

4. The provisions proposed in the Land and Congested Districts 
(Ireland) Bill are ample for these purposes. 

5. Provisions similar to some of the foregoing should be made 
for the Crofter districts of Scotland. 

6. The Colonization Board be continued and reconstructed 
for the purpose of colonization and emigration from such districts. 

7. The power of enlarging Crofters' holdings in that Act should 
be kept alive. 

8. Crofts vacated by emigration or migration should be added 
to existing holdings without power of subdivision. 

9. The experiment of colonizing the Crofter population in Can- 
ada should be further tried. 

10. The proposals of the Government of British Columbia 3 
should be favorably entertained. 

1 Report on Colonization, 1889, p. in. 2 Ibid. 

3 These proposals fell through as the Governments failed to agree on matters 
of finance. 


11. The agency of companies for colonization and emigration 
should be taken advantage of, both as regards the aforesaid coloniza- 
tion in Canada and elsewhere. 

12. The Government grant to the Emigrants' Information 
Office should be increased. 1 

As a result of this report, further governmental schemes were 
dropped, but the grant awarded annually to the Emigrants' 
Information Office was augmented. From 1891 to 1905 no action 
seems to have been taken, but, in the latter year, the Unemployed 
Workmen Act, which contained clauses facilitating the trans- 
ference of needy workpeople, was passed. 2 In the following year, 
Sir Rider Haggard made certain suggestions for a colonization 
scheme, which may be briefly summarized as follows. The 
authorities at home were to advance to the Salvation Army, or 
a similar body, a sum of money roughly equaling thirty thousand 
pounds, and in return the institution was to collect a vast num- 
ber of distressed town-bred families and install them on farm 
plots in Canada. A departmental committee was appointed to 
give consideration to the suggestions, but this body reported 
unfavorably and the scheme was not attempted. 3 Since 1906 
the inactivity of the central authorities has been continued, but 
a great expansion in the working of charitable institutions has 
marked the period. To-day there are considerably more than 
a hundred societies engaged in the emigration movement ; some 
give their services in a general way, others confine their opera- 
tions to people of certain religious denominations or to dwellers 
in particular localities, whilst others again deal only with women 
or children. The majority give financial assistance in deserving 
cases, though certain of them are organized merely to provide 
information, guidance, and protection. As a general rule, the 
societies are doing valuable work by sending to the various 
colonies able-bodied people who could not otherwise join in 
the exodus. 

1 Report on Colonization, 1891, p. xvi. 

2 "The Central Body may, if they think fit, in any case of an unemployed person 
referred to them by a distress committee, assist that person by aiding the emigra- 
tion or removal to another area of that person and any of his dependents." 5 
Ed. 7, ch. 18, sec. 5. 

3 Cf . " Colonization Schemes," Chapter X, p. 244. 


In bygone years, certain of the less responsible organizations 
made emigration a vehicle for transferring " undesirables " from 
the Mother Country to the Colonies. As no such practices have 
been attempted for many years past, it is somewhat discouraging 
to note the attitude with which a few of the Colonial Governments 
still approach the home societies as a body. Everything which 
can be done to eliminate the unfit from the fit is now performed 
by the societies, and none but those who can undergo a severe 
and searching test are permitted to proceed. In many cases, 
farm colonies have been instituted within the United Kingdom 
and prospective settlers are required to give practical demon- 
strations of their fitness at one or other of them before they are 
passed as suitable. Not only do the societies themselves require 
their candidates to pass a very severe test, but the officials 
attached to the staffs of the various High Commissioners and 
Agents-General institute searching inquiries also. Authentic 
figures are available to prove that, of the people befriended by 
the East End Emigration Fund, less than 5 per cent turn out 
failures, only 5 per cent fail from the Church Emigration Society, 
never more than 4 per cent annually from the South African 
Colonisation Society, less than 2 per cent from Dr. Barnardo's 
Homes, whilst other societies can show equally satisfactory 
records. 1 In spite of this complex system of selection and these 
reassuring figures, there are still people, living in the colonies, 
who condemn the work of the societies in general. A writer 
living at Hamilton, Ontario, says : 2 

At present, among the great stream of English people whom your 
agencies are sending to us, are many who are the scourings from Lon- 
don streets the hangers-on to Church charitable organizations 
the type of men who demand work, but that is the last thing they 
really desire. 

It will be noticed that in this quotation not one shred of evi- 
dence is given to support the serious allegations made, nor does 
the writer seem to be aware that no man who was work-shy 
and studied his comforts would leave London for Hamilton; 

1 Official Report of the Emigration Conference convened by the Royal Colonial 
Institute, 1910, pp. 33, 37, 39, 43, etc. 

3 Quoted from The Times of May 3oth, 1910. 


also, it may be pointed out that such statements not only condemn 
the operations of our home organizations, but they presuppose 
a want of confidence in the colonial emigration commissioners 
as well. 

Within recent years public opinion has gradually grown to 
view with considerable disfavor any form of British emigration 
proceeding to foreign countries. In 1907, the Imperial Confer- 
ence gave expression to this feeling by passing the following 
resolution : 

That it is desirable to encourage British emigrants to proceed to 
British Colonies rather than foreign countries: that the Imperial 
Government be requested to cooperate with any Colonies desiring 
immigrants in assisting suitable persons to emigrate : that the Secre- 
tary of State for the Colonies be requested to nominate representa- 
tives of the Dominions to the committee of the Emigrants' Infor- 
mation Office. 

In 1908, the question of emigration was discussed by the Poor 
Law Commission. Unfortunately, the ground necessarily covered 
by this inquiry was so extensive that little time could be spared 
for an adequate consideration of the factors governing the na- 
tional exodus. The Majority Report of this Commission spoke 
of the value of emigration when supplemented with other reforms, 
but gave no hint as to the ways and means of organizing such 
a movement. The Minority Report was more informing. What- 
ever provisions are made for minimizing unemployment, it 
affirmed, there will always be a residuum of men and women 
who will be in want of work ; for them, an emigration and immi- 
gration division will prove valuable. This division, it suggested, 
should develop the office now maintained by the Secretary of 
State for the Colonies in close communication with the responsible 
governments of other parts of the Empire. A Minister of Labor 
would direct this office, and his duties would include not only 
the control of aided but non-aided emigrants as well. So far 
as they go, the suggestions made by the Minority Commissioners 
are valuable, but, from such an authoritative body, a complete 
sketch of the machinery required to control both the emigration 
from home and the immigration to the Colonies would have 
proved welcome. 


Finally, the subject of emigration was considered by the recent 
Imperial Conference of 1911. Mr. Burns, as President of the 
Local Government Board, said that since the last Conference 
the object of the resolution passed in 1907 had been, to a great 
extent, secured. In 1906, the total number of emigrants from 
the Mother Country was 194,671, of whom the different parts 
of the Empire took 105,178 or 54 per cent. In 1910, the num- 
bers were 233,944 and 159,000 respectively, showing 68 per cent 
to the Empire. For the first four months of the year 1911 there 
was an increase over the corresponding period of 1910 of 23,000 
or 29 per cent, and the Empire had taken the whole of that in- 
crease. Australia and New Zealand had received ten thousand 
more people in the first four months of 1911 than in the similar 
period of 1910, or 133 per cent increase. If the rate of increase 
for the first four months were continued for the whole of 1911, 
the total emigrants for Great Britain to all countries would 
amount, he said, to three hundred thousand, of whom, it was 
estimated, 230,000, or nearly 80 per cent, would go to different 
parts of the Empire, a generous contribution in quantity and 
quality from the Mother Country. In 1900, the percentage 
absorbed by the Empire of the total emigration from the United 
Kingdom was only 33 per cent. The increase from 33 per cent to 
80 per cent was a justification of the excellent and increasing 
work in the right direction carried on by the now admirably 
organized Emigrants' Information Office at home. Moreover, 
it was generally admitted that the quality of the emigrants 
had also improved. The total estimated emigration of 300,000 
for 1911 represented 60 per cent of the natural increase of the 
population of the United Kingdom as compared with 48 per cent 
in 1910 and 50 per cent in 1907. But for the saving in life repre- 
sented by a lower death rate, and a much lower infant mortality, 
this emigration would be a very heavy drain on the United King- 
dom. In ten years Scotland and Ireland combined had increased 
their population by 210,000, or less than "the total emigration 
from Great Britain for the one year 1910. With a diminishing 
birth rate the Mother Country could not safely go beyond 300,000 
a year, and if 80 per cent of these went to different parts of the 
Empire, the Conference would probably agree that this was as 
much as they could reasonably require. The Dominions were 


entitled to have the surplus, but they must not diminish the 
seed plot. They could absorb the overflow, but they must not 
empty the tank. 

In reviewing emigration generally, Mr. Burns said that the 
business of the Emigrants' Information Office had more than 
doubled since 1907, and that its machinery was being kept up 
to modern requirements. Over organization, or attempts to do 
more than was now being done, would probably check many of 
the voluntary non-political and benevolent associations con- 
nected with the work, which filled a place that no State organiza- 
tion could possibly occupy. Information was disseminated 
through one thousand public libraries and municipal buildings 
in addition to many post offices. Six hundred and fifty Boards 
of Guardians sent all their emigrated children to the Dominions. 
In twenty-one years 9300 Poor Law children had been emigrated 
at a cost to the rates of 109,000. The quality of these children 
was indicated by the fact that out of 12,790 children from the 
Poor Law Schools of London, only 62 had been returned by 
their employers in consequence of natural defects, incompatibility 
of temper, or disposition. One hundred and thirty Distress Com- 
mittees had sent 16,000 emigrants to different parts of the Em- 
pire in five years at a cost of 127,000. Lastly, before 1907, 
army reservists were not allowed to leave this country and to 
continue to draw their reserve pay. This regulation had been 
modified, with the result that since 1907, 8000 reservists had 
been allowed to reside abroad, of whom only 329 were not under 
the British flag. 



AN INCENTIVE similar to that which brought the Pilgrims 
Ix to New England inspired the German immigrations of the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In 1677 William Perm, 
on one of the missionary tours which he undertook for the purpose 
of spreading the doctrines of the Quaker sect, happened to visit 
the Pietists of Fra.nk;fort-on-the-Majn. Four years later, when 
he received a grant of land in America, these people corresponded 
with his agent. A company was formed among them which 
eventually purchased twenty-five thousand acres of land. In the 
summer of 1683 the first immigrants, most of them Mennonites 
whom Penn's preaching had converted to Quakerism, sailed on 
the ship Concord. They arrived in Philadelphia on October _. 
1683. That day has since been celebrated by German- Americans 
as the beginning of their history in this country, and the Concord 
and its passengers have been regarded with something of the 
same veneration that the Mayflower and the Pilgrim Fathers 
have received from Americans generally. 

During the religious and political troubles of the eighteenth 
century, England and her colonies were the refuge of the per- 
secuted of the continent. In 1709 thirteen thousand inhabitants 
of the Palatinate fled to London. They were maintained by the 
English government, and subsequently colonized in New York 
and the Carolinas. The same was done for the Protestants of 
Salzburg, Austria, who fled from the persecution of Archbishop 
Leopold. According to a German scholar, England's humane 
and generous treatment of these unfortunates will always re- 
dound to her glory. 

1 From " Their True Faith and Allegiance " by Gustavus Ohlinger. The 
Macmillan Company, 1916. 



Many other sects the Moravians, the Reformed, the 
Lutherans, the Tunkers, the Schwenkfelders followed. All 
were attracted by the same ideal, freedom of worship after 
the dictates of their own consciences. In religious belief they 
had much in common with English denominations. Having no 
ties to bind them to the old country, they soon adapted them- 
selves to the conditions of the new. At the outbreak of the 
War of Independence they numbered some two hundred and 
twenty thousand, and they contributed their full quota to the 
revolutionary armies. One of the traditions of those stirring 
times relates how Peter Muhlenberg, pastor of a Lutheran church, 
mounted his pulpit one Sunday soon after the call to arms had 
gone forth. At the end of his sermon he admonished his flock 
that there was a time for prayer, a time for fasting and a time 
for battle ; the time for battle had now come, and casting aside 
his clerical gown he stood before his congregation in the uniform 
of a colonel of the continental army. The drums beat outside, 
Four hundred of his parishioners rallied to the standard, and on 
the fields of Brandy wine, German town, and Monmouth proved 
their allegiance to their adopted land. 


The high tides of German immigration during the first seventy 
years of the nineteenth century were marked by the political 
troubles in the old country, the suppression of the student 
societies and turners in 1820, the revolution of 1832, and the more 
important revolution of 1848. Each of these disturbances sent 
its quota of political refugees to America. Some sought America 
merely as a temporary asylum, intending to return when con- 
ditions in the old country had improved. Others, despairing 
of the struggle for national unity and freedom in Germany, 
hoped to realize their ideals by founding a German state in the 
American west. The leaders in the movement were Paul Follen 
and Friedrich Munch, names which in the last few years 
have been given much prominence by German- American or- 
ganizations. "We must not," these enthusiasts argued, "leave 
Germany without at least taking the first steps towards realizing 
German national unity and freedom ; we will lay the foundations 


of a new and free Germany in the great North American Re- 
public. We will take with us as many as possible of our best 
people, and will provide for others to follow; thus may we be 
able to establish in one of the American territories an essentially 
German state as a refuge for those who have found conditions in 
Germany intolerable." 

Numerous societies were formed to facilitate the immigration 
necessary to accomplish this purpose. Niles' Register remarks 
in a contemporary paragraph that "a plan is in progress in the 
southwest of Germany to make up a state and ship it over to 
America to become the twenty-fifth member of the confederacy." 
One such state arrived at New York with a complete outfit, in- 
cluding a telescope and a town bell, but disintegrated on the 
long trip to St. Louis. The territories of Arkansas and Wisconsin 
were at different times selected as the promised land. When 
Texas declared its independence, the opportunity seemed pre- 
sented for a peaceful conquest of that sparsely settled country, 
and several thousand immigrants were sent to the Lone Star 
state. It is said that the British government favored the scheme, 
hoping thereby to place a permanent barrier in the way of the 
further expansion of the United States towards the southwest. 

Of all these refugees the " f orty-eighters " clung most tena- 
ciously to their language and national ideals. These people have 
become known in German-American history as the " greens," as 
distinguished from the older settlers, who were dubbed the 
" grays." The " greens" severely upbraided their countrymen 
who had preceded them for having allowed themselves to become 
Americanized, and they made serious efforts to retard further 
assimilation. As Germans they felt they had a mission to fulfill, 
and that mission was nothing less than the complete Germanizing 
oHhe United States. This was to be accomplished through their 
intellectual superiority, their claims to which, though un- 
doubtedly justified in some instances, they made no efforts to 
conceal, and also by founding German communities, and from 
these as centers making their influence felt throughout the 
country. At one time it was proposed to concentrate immigration 
in Wisconsin until through a jprerjonderance of the population 
they~had succeeded in repjacjflgjjiglish with German as the 
, of the legislature, and of the schools. Some 


of the enthusiasts went so far as to forecast the time when the 
United States, having come under the influence of German ideas, 
would extend its sway throughout the world. The German 
people would in that indirect way realize their ambition for 
world dominion. 

But as the years passed, the vision of these exiles faded and 
grew dim. A new Germany, free and powerful, seemed an im- 
possibility ; a transplanted Germany, in the form of a state set 
down in the western wilderness, dissolved upon contact with the 
realities of the frontier ; German communities could not maintain 
their solidarity amid the complexities of industriaHife ; and the 
dreamers were left with the empire of the German spirit, the 
romantic Germany of the bards and singers, the world of the 
philosophers and poets. And when, after hopes deferred and 
years of waiting, the man arrived who through the stern dis- 
cipline of blood and iron was to weld the principalities of Germany 
into an empire, there had appeared in America one of the most 
tragic and compelling figures of all history. Bjsjrmrck__was 
forgotten, and the exiles rallied to the call of Lincoln. 


The succeeding immigration differed materially from those 
that have been described. The earlier immigrants had brought 
with them bitter memories of German disunion and of the 
tyrannies and persecutions of their petty princes. Pride of 
nationality they had in some degree, but none of state or country. 
The less educated, lacking the political vision and ambitions of 
the revolutionaries, had scarcely more than family sentiment to 
bind them to their old homes. To them America was the great 
country of freedom, of religious liberty, of__orrjortunity, the 
promised land of anthejrjreams. Their old allegiance, together 
with all that it implied, they were glad and anxious to cast aside 
as a loathed garment. But the great waves of German immi- 
gration, which, gathering volume in the seventies, finally reached 
their flood in the eighties, came from entirely different impulses. 
Neither national ideals, political freedom, nor religious liberty 
was uppermost in the minds of these strangers. Germany had 
been united. What Bismarck termed "the tragedy of the ages" 


had been repaired. The empire furnished a concrete expression 
for German national aspirations. No longer as outcasts did 
these wanderers approach our shores, but as representatives of a 
state of whose achievements they were proud and of whose future 
they vaguely hoped to remain a part. National and political 
aspirations had been fulfilled, what they asked from America, 
primarily, wasfmaterial benefits? 
i A spiritual change came over Germany. The will to power, 
enthralled from the time that the last Hohenstaufen met his fate 
on the scaffold in Naples, was emancipated. This had been 
accomplished largely by merging the individual in the State, 
and by making the State synonymous with the Hohenzollern 
dynasty. But this was overlooked in the enthusiasm for the 
new-found strength, and German professors set to work to square 
theory with fact. "The State is a person," exclaims Bluntschli. 
More than that, it is a man, not a woman, and possesses all the 
primal male attributes of positive action on environment. It 
owes no responsibility and must be ruthless in accomplishing its 

With these vital forces of the nation organized and ready to be 
released, the educated men surveyed the past and present. 
Spain, France, and England had each had its day. They had 
.each boasted a world dominion. Each had in turn succumbed 
to its successor. England, the last, had long since lost its pre- 
eminence in every field of human endeavor. The British empire 
was held in palsied hands which required only the effort of youth 
'to strike down. Each of these conquering nations had, however, 
through its culture, language, and institutions, struck deep root 
in foreign soil. German culture would therefore have to establish 
itself in order to pave the way for commerce and political control. 
To do this required organized effort. Every German in a position 
of influence in a foreign land, whether as an educator, aj>rp- 
fessional man, a clergyman, a technician, or a director of industrial 
enterprises, represented an outlay of productive capital. It was 
the task of these men to make known the aims and content of 
German culture in all its branches, from the tilling of the soil to 
the 'philosophy of life, from the technique of mechanics to the 
technique of statesmanship, so that the desire to acquire the 
benefits of this culture might be stimulated. The respect which 


they earned through the thoroughness of their achievement 
would redound to the prestige of the empire, and the influence 
which they thus acquired was to be an asset in the achievement of 
national ideals. The conscious direction of these influences is 
what Germans call Kulturpolitik, a word which has no English 
equivalent, for the reason that the whole idea is a German 

Equally important was it to retain at least the spiritual and 
intellectual allegiance of German emigrants. In 1881 there was 
organized the "Educational Alliance for the Preservation of 
German Culture in Foreign Lands " (Allgemeiner deutscher 
Schuherein zur Erhaltung des Deutschthums im Auslande). 
"Not a man can we spare," so reads its declaration of principles, 
"if we expect to hold our own against the one hundred and 
twenty-five millions who already speak the English language 
and who have preempted the most desirable fields for expansion." 
A similar thought inspired the Pan-German Alliance (Alldeutszher 
Verband). It aims to preserve German language and culture, 
to vitalize the German national sentiment throughout the world 
and to support Germans wherever, in a distant land, they are 
struggling to preserve their solidarity against a foreign civili- 
zation. "The German ppnpje is a race of rulers." so they declare. 
"As such it must be respected everywhere in the world. The. 
Alliance does not believe that German national development 
ended with the results of the war of 1870, great and glorious 
though they were. It is rather convinced that, with the position 
then won, there has come a multitude of new and greater duties, 
to neglect which would mean the decadence of our people." A 
number of branches of this society, as well as of the Navy 
League (Flottenverein) , were established in the United States. 

The educated Germans had become imbued with these ideas 
before leaving the old country, and they now kept in touch 
with their development. Journalists and clergymen naturally 
found it to their interests to encourage German traditions and 
the use of the German language. The circulation of jtheirjaws- 
papers and the membership of their churches depended upon 
these conditions. The most potent influence, however, in 
Kulturpolitik have been the men who, in constantly increasing 
numbers, have come to occupy positions in our universities, 


colleges, and public and private schools. Being, by virtue of 
their profession, less exposed to assimilative influences, they 
form the outposts of Germanism, in the United States. 

It was about twenty years ago that voices of the new Germany 
were first heard in this country. The Spanish-American war at 
one stroke destroyed the isolation of the United States. The 
part she would play on the stage of world politics became a 
matter of vital interest. American ideas of colonial expansion and 
of responsibility towards foreign races approached to those which 
had built up the British Empire. Many points of contact between 
American institutions and those of England were brought to 
consciousness. Cecil Rhodes, dying, left a will which provided a 
means for closer intellectual and cultural association between 
the United States and Great Britain. Kipling celebrated in 
verse the mission of the Anglo-Saxon people. Much was said 
about Anglo-Saxon unity, a phrase which Germans interpreted 
as Anglo-Saxon imperialism. 

This was the beginning of the struggle. It was the signal for the 
mobilization of the forces of Kulturpolitik in this country. Anglp- 
Saxon unity, or even a closer understanding between the branches 
of that race, was seen as an insuperable obstacle in the way of 
German plans for world dominion. Journalists, clergymen, 
educators, began to agitate among their countrymen for the 
solidarity of the German element, the preservation of the German 
language, and the spread of German culture. Their appeals 
found a ready response among the later arrivals and even engaged 
the attention of the older element, who, though having no interest 
in Germany as an empire, still cherished the memory of the 
Fatherland as the home of Goethe, Schiller, of Grimm's Fairy 
Tales, of the philosophers and musicians. Men holding chairs 
in our universities, permeated with the teaching of Treitschke, 
Droysen, and other modern German historians, pointed to what 
they regarded as signs of the impending dissolution of the 
British^Empire ; the costly Boer war had drained its strength ; 
the discontent in India, the troubles in Ireland, were under- 
mining its constitution; Germany was destined to overthrow 
the palsied colossus and succeed it as a world empire ; German 
culture would then be supreme, the German language the 
universal tongue. Anglo-Saxon civilization the agitators both 


disparaged as decadent and, like Treitschke, cordially hated. 
Puritanism, to them the essence of hypocrisy, represented its 
most odious pha,se. They proclaimed that only in a political 
ancLgeoffraphical sense had they become Americans with the 
oath of naturalization, in all other respects they remained 
Germans ; they condemned any approach to assimilation and 
decried the moral of Zangwill's "Melting Pot." Some sought to 
give the propaganda a patriotic guise by declaring that it was 
the sacred mission of the German element to guard themselves, 
their language, and their culture from native influences in order 
that as a chosen people they might save America from the decay 
which was destroying the vitals of everything Anglo-Saxon. The 
media for the propaganda were the lecture platform, the German 
newspapers, German societies, churches, and schools. A German 
who had served as a member of the Reichstag began the publi- 
cation in New York of a monthly magazine as the special expo- 
nent of these ideas. 

Organizations of every kind have always been a feature^ of 
German life in America.' The national "Sangerbund" was 
organized in 1849. The turners organized as far back as 1848, 
and have had a national alliance since 1850, and to-day boast 
forty thousand members, with a normal school in Indianapolis. 
In 1870 the association of German teachers (Deutsch-amerikan- 
ischer Lehrerbund) was formed and soon after that a training school 
was established in Milwaukee. In 1885 a national organization 
of German schools (National deutsch-amerikanischer Schulverein) 
was started, but met with the opposition of the older element, 
who, while they favored the propaganda for the German language 
in parts of Austria and Hungary, could see no reason for such 
a movement in the United States. There are associations of 
German veterans and reservists, many mutualjud and Jbenefit 
societies, the well-known singing societies, and innumerable 
other organizations. 

Under the influence of the new propaganda all these societies 
were brought into closer touch with each other. In 1899 the 
German societies of Pennsylvania formed a state federation 
known as the German-American Central Alliance. This suggested 
a national organization, and in the following" year delegates from 
Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Minnesota assembled in 


Philadelphia and formed a temporary association. In 1901, on 
the anniversary of the landing of the Concord pilgrims, a perma- 
nent organization was perfected, known as the National German- 
American Alliance. This achievement the promoters regard as 
of the greatest importance for the future of the German element 
in the United States. 

According to its constitution the membership of the Alliance 
is made up of state and local alliances. German societies every- 
where have been urged to unite in local and state federations. 
It is only where city and state federations have not been organized 
that individual societies are taken into membership. The work 
of organization has been prosecuted with vigor in the last few 
years, with the result that there is now a state federation in every 
state of the Union, and every city of importance has its Stadtver- 
band, made up of delegates of local organizations. The Alliance 
is supported by a per capita levy upon the membership of all 
component societies. In 1907 it was incorporated by act of 
Congress, and it now claims to reach, through its subordinate 
state and local federations and individual societies, not less than 
two million five hundred thousand Germans. 

The principal objects of the Alliance, as officially announced, 
are to awaken and strengthen the sense of unity among the 
people of German origin jn America; to check nativistic eji- 
croachments ; to maintain and safeguard friendly relations 
between~S.merica and Germany; to augment the influence of 
German culture by encouraging the use of the German language 
and making its teaching in the public schools compulsory: to 
introduce into school histories a proper estimate of the work of 
German pioneers and of their part in developing our institutions ; 
to oppose restrictions upon immigration; to_ )i,bera.Hze qur 
naturalizaticn^Taws by removing knowledge of the English 
language and other educational tests as requirements of citizen- 
ship; and, finally, to combat Puritan_influences, particularly 
invasions of personal liberty in the form of restrictions upon the 
liquor traffic. The Alliance is pledged to bring its entire organi- 
zaHonTo the support of any state federation which is engaged in 
a struggle for any of these objects. 

"We must be united, united, united, every petty jealousy, 
every local interest, must be forgotten," the officers of the 


Alliance have repeatedly admonished their members. From the 
point of view of the American who is interested solely in the 
amalgamation of races in a more perfect union and in the highest 
development of our national life, it is difficult to understand 
what exigency requires the awakening and strengthening of the 
sense of unity among citizens of German origin. If the Alliance 
professes patriotic purposes, why should it aim to develop a 
solidarity. within racial lines ? Why should the sense of unity be 
encouraged among Germans, and if among Germans, why not 
among those citizens who happen to be of English, Canadian, 
Russian, or Italian descent? 

Equally difficult is it to understand the need of such an 
organization for resisting "nativistic encroachments." Long 
before the Alliance came into existence, German citizens, 
from Michael Hillegas, the first Treasurer of the Continental 
Congress, to Carl Schurz, Secretary of the Interior in Hayes' 
administration, have been welcomed to the highest offices in 
the gift of the people. From the time the Know-Nothing 
movement collapsed a movement which was called into 
being in large measure by the separatist ideals of the immi- 
grants of 1832 and 1848 Americans have kept their rjplitics 
aloof from racial or extinctions, and those who have 
trespassed this unwritten law have received prompt and merited 

In estimating the activity of the Germans during the last 
eighteen months allowance must be made for the high tension of 
feeling produced by the war. Nor must it be imagined for one 
moment that the majority of Germans in this country subscribe 
to the opinions put forth by the noisy propagandists. This 
group, though compact and well organized, forms but a small 
fraction of the thirty millions of citizens of German birth or 
descent in this country. They represent the laterimmigra tions , 
for the most part those which followed theTormation of the 
empire. The official roster of the Alliance may fairly be taken as 
representative of its membership, or at least of the controlling 
faction in that membership. Of the twelve officers not one can 
point to an Americanism more than two generations old. The 
majority are foreign-born. 


It is for the descendants of those Germans who fought under i 
Herkimer at Oriskany; of those who followed Muhlenberg; of f 
those who over the trenches of Yorktown heard the opposing 
commands given in their native tongue, and finally saw the 
garrison march out to the time of German .music ; of those who 
fought under Schurz and Sigel in the Civil War, to rebuke these 
prophets of disunion and to turn the aspirations of their country- 
men in the direction of true American nationalism. s 



THE Jewish immigration has been shown to consist essentially 
of permanent settlers. Its family movement is incomparable 
in degree, and contains a larger relative proportion as well as 
absolute number of women and children, than any other im- 
migrant people. This in turn is reflected in the greater relative 
proportion as well as absolute number of those classified as 
having "no occupation." The element of dependency thus 
predicated is another indication of the family composition of the 
Jewish immigration. Its return movement is the smallest of 
any, as compared both with its large immigration and the 
number of total emigrants. The Jewish immigrants are dis- 
tinguished as well by a larger relative proportion and absolute 
number of skilled laborers, than any other immigrant people. 
In these four primary characteristics the Jewish immigrants stand 
apart from all the others. 

It is with the neighboring Slavic races emigrating from the 
countries of Eastern Europe and with whom the Jewish immi- 
grants are closely associated that the contrasts, in all these 
respects, are strongest. The Slavic immigrants are chiefly male 
adults. Their movement is largely composed of transients, as 
evidenced by a relatively large outward movement and em- 
phasized by the fact that the vast majority of them are unskilled 
laborers. An exception, in large measure, must be made of the 
Bohemian and Moravian immigrants, who present characteristics 
strongly similar to those of the Jewish immigrants. 

The division into "old" and "new" immigration brings 
out even more clearly the exceptional position of the Jews in 

1 Summary and conclusions, of Jewish Immigration to the United States. Chap- 
ter VI. Columbia University Studies, 1914. 



regard to these characteristics. Although the Jewish immi- 
gration has been contemporaneous with the "new" immigration 
from Eastern and Southeastern Europe, and is furthermore 
essentially East-European in origin, its characteristic place is 
altogether with the "old" immigration. 1 Most striking, how- 
ever is the fact that in all of these respects family composition 
and small return movement (both indicating permanent settle- 
ment) and in the proportion of skilled laborers the Jewish 
immigration stands apart even from the "old" immigration. 

Further confirmation may be obtained, in the study of the 
characteristics of the Jewish immigration, of the principle 
established in the preceding sections that the rejective forces of 
governmental oppression are responsible for the largest part of 
this immigration. The large family movement of the Jewish 
immigration is a symptom of abnormal conditions and amounts 
almost to a reversal of the normal immigration, in which single 
or married men without families predominate. Even the family 
movement of the "old" immigrants may largely be attributed 
to the longer residence of their peoples in the United States as 
well as to their greater familiarity with the conditions and 
customs of the United States. That so large a part of the Jewish 
immigrants is composed of dependent females and children creates 
a situation of economic disadvantage for the Jewish immigrants, 
all the stronger because of their relative unfamiliarity with the 
language or the conditions facing them in this country. 

Again, the Jews respond slowly and incompletely to the pres- 
sure of unfavorable econo*mic conditions in this country. This 
was emphasized by the 'almost complete lack of response to the 
panic of 1907, as well as expressed in the small, practically un- 
changing return movement of the Jews to their European homes. 

The pressure upon the Jewish artisans, or skilled laborers, 
in Eastern Europe is reflected in the predominance of this class 
among the Jewish immigrants to this country. That so useful an 
element in Eastern Europe with its still relatively backward in- 
dustrial development a fact that was given express recognition 

1 So strongly Was this the case that the Immigration Commission in discussing 
these characteristics was compelled to separate the Jewish from the "new" immi- 
gration, in order to bring out the essential differences of the latter from the "old" 


by the permission accorded the Jewish artisans in Alexander 
IPs time to live in the interior of Russia should have been 
compelled to emigrate indicates that the voyage across the 
Atlantic was easier for them than the trip into the interior of 
Russia, access to which is still legally accorded to them. 

That the oppressive conditions created particularly in Russia 
and Roumania and operating as a pressure equivalent to an 
expulsive force does not explain the entire Jewish immigration 
to this country is evident from the preceding pages. In a great 
measure, the immigration of Jews from Austria-Hungary is an 
economic movement. The existence, however, of a certain degree 
of pressure created by economic and political antisemitism has 
however been recognized. The Jewish movement from Austria- 
Hungary shares largely with the movement from Russia and 
Roumania the social and economic characteristics of the Jewish 
immigration which we have described. A strong family move- 
ment and a relative permanence of settlement, especially as 
compared with the Poles, and a movement of skilled laborers 
must be predicated of the Jewish immigrants from Austria- 
Hungary, though undoubtedly not to the same degree as in the 
case of the Jewish movements from Russia and Roumania. 

It is also clear that the forces of economic attraction in the 
United States do not play an altogether passive part in the 
Jewish immigration. The very fact of an immigrant-nucleus 
formed in this country and serving as a center of attraction to 
relatives and friends abroad a force which increases in direct 
and multiple proportion to the growth of immigration is an 
active and positive force in strengthening the immigration 
current. This was early understood by the Alliance Israelite 
Universelle which had acted upon this principle in the seventies 
and had prophetically sought to direct a healthy movement of 
Jewish immigrants to this country in the hope of thereby laying 
a foundation for future Jewish immigration to this country. 
This current, however, once started and growing only by the 
force of its increasing attraction, would reflect in its movement 
almost Wholly the economic conditions in this country. That so 
large a part of the Jewish immigration, and so many of the 
phenomena peculiar to it, find their explanation, for the largest 
part of the thirty years, in the situation and the course of events 


in the countries of Eastern Europe leads to the inevitable con- 
clusion that the key to the Jewish immigration is to be found 
not in the force of economic attraction exercised in the United 
States but rather in the exceptional economic, social, and legal 
conditions in Eastern Europe which have been created as a result 
of governmental persecution. 

Reviewing the various phases of the history of Jewish immi- 
gration for these thirty years, we are enabled to see more closely 
its nature. The study of the immigration, its movement and its 
social and economic characteristics, in comparison with those 
of other immigrant peoples, has revealed in it a number of dis- 
tinguishing traits. In the causes of the emigration of the Jews, 
in the pressure exerted upon their movement as reflected in their 
rate of immigration, in their family movement, in the permanence 
of their settlement, and in their occupational distribution have 
been found characteristics which mark them off from the rest 
of the immigrant peoples. The number of these characteristics 
and the degree in which they are found in the Jewish immigration, 
put it in a class by itself. 

The facts of governmental pressure amounting to an expulsive 
force, and reflected in an extraordinary rate of immigration, in a 
movement of families unsurpassed in the American immigration, 
the largest part economically dependent, in an occupational 
grouping of skilled artisans, able to earn their livelihood under 
normal conditions, and in a permanence of settlement in this 
country incomparable in degree and indicating that practically 
all who come stay all these facts lead irresistibly to the con- 
clusion that in the Jewish movement we are dealing, not with 
an immigration, but with a migration. What we are witnessing 
to-day, and for these thirty years, is a Jewish migration of a 
kind and degree almost without a parallel in the history of the 
Jewish people. When, in speaking of the beginnings of Russian 
Jewish immigration to Philadelphia, David Sulzberger said : "In 
thirty years the movement of Jews from Russia to the United 
States has almost reached the dignity of the migration of a 
people," he used no literary phrase. In view of the facts that 
have developed, this statement is true without any qualification. 

This migration-process explains the remarkable growth of the 
Jewish population in the United States, within a relatively short 


period of time. In this transplantation, the spirit of social 
solidarity and communal responsibility prevalent among the 
Jews has played a vital part. 

The family rather than the individual thus becomes the unit 
for the social life of the Jewish immigrant population in the 
United States. In this respect the latter approaches more nearly 
the native American population than does the foreign white or 
immigrant population. One of the greatest evils incident to and 
characteristic of the general immigration to this country is 
thereby minimized. 

Again, the concentration of the Jewish immigrants in certain 
trades explains in great measure the peculiarities of the occupa- 
tional and the urban distribution of the Jews in the United 
States. The development of the garment trades through Jewish 
agencies is largely explained by the recruiting of the material 
for this development through these laborers. 

These primary characteristics of the Jewish immigration of the 
last thirty years will serve to explain some of the most important 
phases of the economic and social life of the Jews in the United 
States, three fourths of whom are immigrants of this period. 

Of all the features in this historic movement of the Jews from 
Eastern Europe to the United States, not the least interesting is 
their passing from civilizations whose bonds with their medieval 
past are still strong to a civilization which began its course un- 
hampered by tradition and unyoked to the forms and institutions 
of the past. The contrast between the broad freedom of this 
democracy and the intolerable despotism from whose yoke most 
of them fled has given them a sense of appreciation of American 
political and social institutions that is felt in every movement of 
their mental life. 



' AT EVER judge a ship from the shore," say the Tuscans, and 

1 Nl the contadino, who is fond of proverbs, often quotes this 
bit of traditional wisdom when he finds that his wolf was only a 
gray dog after all. Hamlet's cloud is not a camel; nor is an 

onest workman a shiftless beggar buffoon. The laborer and 
not the organ-grinder now represents the Italian in America; 
but the popular idea mistakes the one for the other. Thanks to 
the secluded ways of Italians, the actual facts of their life among 
us are almost entirely unknown. In common with Mexicans and 
Jews, they are pilloried by insulting nicknames. They are 
charged with pauperism, crime, and degraded living, and they are 
judged unheard and almost unseen. These short and sturdy 
laborers, who swing along the streets with their heavy stride early 
in the morning and late at night, deserve better of the country. 
They are doing the work of men, and they are the full equals of 
any national army of peasant adventurers that ever landed on 

ur shores. 

To brand an Italian immigrant with the word "alien" is to 
curse him for being unlike ourselves. But when we know who 
and what he is, and why he comes to the United States, and what 
he becomes after he gets here, we recognize human kinship, and 
see what we ourselves should be with different birth and breeding. 
One serious misconception starts in a name. It is as misleading 
to dub a nation " La tin" as "Anglo-Saxon." Italians differ from 
one another almost as much as men can differ who are still of 
the same color. Ethnography now makes its classifications 
according to cranial formation. Most northern Italians are of 
the Alpine race and have short, broad skulls. All southern 
Italians are of the Mediterranean race and have long, narrow 

1 From The Outlook, February 24, 1906. 


skulls. Between the two lies a broad strip of country, in northern 
and central Italy, peopled by those of mixed blood. History has 
a less theoretical story to tell, and explains the differences that 
separate near neighbors, in the north as in the south. If a single 
race ever inhabited Italy to form an original parent stock, it has 
borne the grafts of so many other races that all sign of it is lost. 
For prolonged periods sometimes one part of the land, sometimes 
another, and sometimes the whole peninsula and the islands, 
have been held in the power of Phcenicians, Greeks, the countless 
wild hordes of the North, the Saracens, the Spanish, French, 
and Germans. They all came in great numbers and freely married 
with native women. In the northeast there is a Slav intermixture, 
and a trace of the Mongol. In appearance the Italian may be 
anything from a tow-headed Teuton to a swarthy Arab. Vary- 
ing with the district from which he comes, in manner he may 
be rough and boisterous; suave, fluent, and gesticulative ; or 
grave and silent. 

These differences extend to the very essentials of life. The 
provinces of Italy are radically unlike, not only in dress, cookery, 
and customs, but in character, thought, and speech. A distinct 
change of dialect is often found in a morning's walk, and it would 
probably be impossible to travel fifty miles along any road in 
Italy without meeting greater differences in language than can 
be found in our English anywhere between Maine and Cali- 
fornia. The schools, the army, and the navy are now carrying 
the Italian language to the remotest province, but an ignorant 
Valtellinese, from the mountains of the north, and an ignorant 
Neapolitan have as yet no means of understanding each other ; 
and, what is more remarkable, the speech of the unschooled 
peasant of Genoa is unintelligible to his fellow of Piedmont, who 
lives less than one hundred miles away. A Genoese ship's captain 
can understand his Sicilian sailors, when they are talking famil- 
iarly among themselves, about as well as an English commander 
of a "Peninsular and Oriental" liner can follow the jabbering of 
his Lascar crew. Nor can ignorant men from some of the prov- 
inces understand the pure Italian. Two classes were recently 
held in the Episcopal Church of San Salvatore, in Broome Street, 
New York, to teach Sicilians enough Italian to enable them to 
use their prayer-book. 


The age-long political division of Italy into a number of petty 
States preserved all differences and inspired an intense local 
patriotism ; nor did the narrow belfry spirit wholly vanish with 
the political union of 1870. Relics of it are still found. Ask a 
Roman peasant if he is an Italian, and he is as likely as not to 
say "No," that he is a Roman; and so with a Genoese or a 
Neapolitan. In dislike or indifference toward those from other 
parts of the country, the Italian abroad usually seeks those of 
his own city or province. In the same way, little circles of friends 
are formed in the Italian army and navy. Question a group of 
sailors on shore leave from an Italian man-of-war, and you will 
probably find that, with perhaps a single exception, they are all 
of one place. Ask them how this happens, and they may tell 
you, as they have told me, laughing: "Friendship is for those 
from the same fatherland" 

These profound dissimilarities make sweeping generalities 
about Italians impossible. Yet in one point every province is 
alike. The poor everywhere are all crushed by heavy taxes for 
maintenance of the large army and navy which make Italy a first- 
class European power. More serious than the exactions of 
the taxgatherer is the long-continued agricultural depression 
that has reduced a large part of the south to poverty. Nor is 
this all. The peasant's lot is made infinitely worse by an Irish 
question that is the blight of nearly all southern Italy, Sicily, and 
Sardinia. There are the same huge entailed estates and the 
same lazy, reactionary, and absentee landlords. Throughout 
large sections great tracts of fertile soil support only one shepherd 
or one farmer per square mile. To these idle lands must be added 
the vast stretches of barren mountains, and the malaria-infested 
fifth of the entire surface of the peninsula. No new territory has 
been added to the kingdom, while the population has been in- 
creasing within twenty years from twenty-eight and one half 
to thirty-two and one half millions an average density for the 
whole country of 301 per square mile. And the excess of births 
over deaths amounts to nearly 350,000 a year the population 
of a province. Through whole districts in this overcrowded land 
Italians have to choose between emigration and starvation. 

A definite economic cause drives the poor Meridionale from his 
home, and a definite economic cause and not a vague migratory 


instinct brings him to America. He comes because the country 
has the most urgent need of unskilled labor. This need largely 
shapes the character of our Italian immigration, and offers 
immediate work to most of the newcomers. Almost eighty per 
cent of them are males ; over eighty per cent are between the 
ages of fourteen and forty-five ; over eighty per cent are from 
the southern provinces, and nearly the same percentage are un- 
skilled laborers, who include a large majority of the illiterates. 
These categories overlap, so that the bulk of our Italian immi- 
gration is composed of ignorant, able-bodied laborers from the 
south. They come by the hundred thousand, yet their great 
numbers are quickly absorbed without disturbing either the 
public peace or the labor market. In spite of the enormous 
immigration of Italians in 1903 and 1904, the last issue of the 
United States Labor Bulletin shows that the average daily wage 
of the laborer in the North Atlantic States the " congested" 
district at the very gates of Ellis Island had increased within 
the year from $1.33 to $1.39. And 1904 was not a particularly 
prosperous year. Equally significant, in view of the unprec- 
edented Italian immigration of the first six months of this year, 
is the announcement in the last number of the Bulletin of the 
New York State Department of Labor that the improvement 
in the conditions of employment has been so marked, and "the 
proportion of idle wage-earners has diminished so rapidly, that 
the second quarter of 1905 surpasses that of 1902, the record 

The demand of the East for labor is first heard by the new 
arrival who needs to look for work, and probably a majority of 
Italian braccianti never go more than a hundred and fifty miles 
away from New York. Immediate work and high wages, and not 
a love for the tenement, create our "Little Italics." The great 
enterprises in progress in and about the city, the subways, 
tunnels, waterworks, railroad construction, as well as the 
ordinary building operations, call for a vast army of laborers. 
For new and remodeled tenements alone, authorized by the 
Building Department between April and June, 1905, the esti- 
mated cost was over $39,000,000. This gives one measure of the 
demand. A labor leader has furnished another. At a recent 
conference, arguing that restriction of immigration would benefit 


American labor, he said that an authority in the building trade 
had calculated that with immigration suspended, common labor 
in New York would be receiving $3 within a year. He had not 
calculated the paralysis that such a wage would inflict upon 

Of all that come in response to our national invitation to the 
worker, the educated Italian without a manual trade is the 
Italian who most signally fails in America. He 'is seen idling 
at the cheap restaurants everywhere in the Italian colonies. But 
the illiterate laborer takes no chances. He usually has definite 
knowledge of precisely where work is needed before he leaves 
home. Fifteen thousand immigrants sometimes reach Ellis 
Island in a single day. Yet each Italian must earn his living in 
some way, and that at once, for he brings no more than eight or 
ten dollars with him. 

This same inborn conservatism that risks nothing makes of 
southern Italians the most mobile supply of labor that this 
country has ever known. Migratory laborers, who come here to 
work during eight or nine months of the year, and return between 
October and December, are a very large part of the annual immi- 
gration. They form a stream of workers that ebbs and flows from 
Italy to America in instant response to demand ; and yet the 
significance of the movement has gone almost entirely unnoticed. 
More than 98,000 Italians laborers and others, but chiefly 
laborers went back to Italy in 1903. In 1904, owing to a 
temporary lull in our prosperity and the general business un- 
certainty during a Presidential campaign, the demand slackened. 
The common laborer, who ordinarily pays a padrone fifty cents as 
a fee for employment, was offering as high as five dollars for a 
job in the summer of 1904. In the end, more than 134,000 Italians 
returned to Italy within the year, and we were saved the problem 
of an army of unemployed. 

If the ignorant immigrant is a menace, the mobility of Italian 
unskilled labor has conferred another blessing upon us, for it is 
the very element that contains a large majority of the dreaded 
illiterates. The whole number of them who enter the community 
thus gives no indication of the number who are permanently 
added to our population, and the yearly percentage of their 
arrivals since 1901 has fallen from 59.1 per cent to 47 per cent, 


and is likely to fall still lower. But there is something to be said 
on behalf of the illiterates who remain among us. They are never 
Anarchists; they are guiltless of the so-called "black hand" 
letters. The individual bracciante is, in fact, rarely anything but 
a gentle and often a rather dull drudge, who still has wit enough 
to say that he knows he cannot be Caesar, and is very well content 
to be plain Neapolitan Nicola. Knowledge is power, but an 
education gives no certificate of character, and still less does 
ability to read and write afford any test whatever either of 
morals or of brains. A concrete instance gives a practical proof. 
There are more than four times as many illiterates in the general 
population of the United States as were found, according to the 
last published report, among those arrested in Greater New York 
between January i and March 31, 1905 : 44,014 persons were 
arrested; of these, only 1175, or a little over 2.6 per cent, were 
unable to read or write. The percentage of illiteracy for the 
entire United States is 10.6 per cent, and for that of the native 
whites alone 4.6 per cent. 

The very success of American schools goes far in explaining 
the mystery of our exorbitant demand for unskilled labor. In 
proportion as they fulfill their mission they are depriving us of 
the rough laborer. The boy who is forbidden by the New York 
law to leave school until he is fourteen years old and has reached 
the fifth grammar grade, later in life does not join a gang that 
digs sewers and subways. Such laborers are recruited from the 
illiterate, or nearly illiterate those who have failed in the 
beginning of the struggle in which brains count. For our future 
supply of the lower grades of labor we must depend more and more 
upon countries with a poorer school system than ours. 

Lies have short legs, the Florentine tag has it, but the Ital- 
ian is still accused of being a degenerate, a lazy fellow and 
a pauper, half a criminal, a present danger, and a serious menace 
to our civilization. If there is a substantial basis of truth in 
these charges, it must appear very clearly in Greater New York, 
which is now disputing Rome's place as the third largest Italian 
city in the world. Moreover, New York contains nearly 
two fifths of all the Italians in the United States, and in propor- 
tion to its size it is the least prosperous Italian colony in the 
country, and shelters a considerable part of our immigrant 


failures those who cannot fall into step with the march of 
American life. 

First, as to the paupers. The Italian inhabitants of New York 
City number nearly 450,000 ; the Irish, somewhat over 300,000. 
In males the criminal sex the Italians outnumber the Irish 
about two to one. Yet by a visit to the great almshouse on 
Blackwell's Island and an examination of the unpublished record 
for 1904, I found that during that year 1564 Irish had been 
admitted, and only 16 Italians. Mr. James Forbes, the chief 
of the Mendicancy Department of the Charity Organization 
Society, tells me that he has never seen or heard of an Italian 
tramp. As for begging, between July i, 1904, and September 30, 
1905, the Mendicancy Police took into custody 519 Irish and 
only 92 Italians. Pauperism has a close relation with suicide, 
and of such deaths during the year the record counts 89 Irish and 
23 Italians. The Irish have always supplied much more -than 
their share of our paupers ; but Irish brawn has contributed its 
full part to the prosperity of the country ; and the comparatively 
large proportion of Irish inmates in all our penal institutions 
never justified the charge that the Irish are a criminal race, or 
Irish immigration undesirable. That was the final answer to the 
Know-Nothing argument ! 

Nor do court records show that Italians are the professional 
criminals they are said to be. Take the city magistrates' reports 
for the year ending December 31, 1901 the latest date for 
which all the necessary data are available. At that time, using 
Dr. Laidlaw's estimate of additions by immigration to the 
population of the city to May i, 1902, there were about 282,804 
Irish and 200, 549 Italians in Greater New York. If the proportion 
of the sexes remained unchanged from the taking of the census, 
there were 117,599 Irish males, and 114,673 Italian. This near 
equality of the criminal sex in the two nationalities makes possible 
a rough measure of Italian criminality. 

In these columns of crime the most striking fact in the Italian's 
favor is a remarkable showing of sobriety. During the year, 
7 281 "Irish were haled into court accused of "intoxication" and 
" intoxication and disorderly conduct," while the Italians arrested 
on the same charge numbered only 513. With the exception of 
the Russian Jews, Italians are by far the most sober of all 


nationalities in New York, including the native born. Next, 
noticing only offenses committed with particular frequency, the 
Italians again appear at a pronounced advantage in : Assaults 
(misdemeanor), 284 Irish and 139 Italians; disorderly conduct, 
3278 Irish and 1454 Italians; larceny (misdemeanor), 297 
Irish and 174 Italians; vagrancy, ic^i^Irish and 80 Italians. 
Insanity is here listed with crime, and there are 146 Irish commit- 
ments to 35 Italian. Irish and Italians are nearly at an equality 
in : Burglaries, 63 Irish and 57 Italians ; and larceny (felony), 122 
Irish and 94 Italians. On the other hand, Italians show at the 
worst in : Violation of corporation ordinance (chiefly peddling 
without a license), 196 Irish and 1169 Italians; and assault 
(felony), 75 Irish and 155 Italians. In homicides, quite contrary 
to the popular impression, -the Italians are only charged with the 
ratio exactly normal to their numbers after taking the average 
per 100,000 for the whole city, while the Irish are accused of 
nearly two and one half times their quota : Irish 50, Italians 14. 
The report for 1903, the last published, after important changes 
effected by almost two years of immigration, shows an unchanged 
proportional variation : Irish 59, Italians 21. 

The one serious crime to which Italians are prone more 
than other men is an unpremeditated crime of violence . This is 
mostly charged, and probably with entire justice, upon the 
men of four provinces, and Girgenti in Sicily is particularly 
specified. It is generally the outcome of quarrels among them- 
selves, prompted by jealousy and suspected treachery. The 
Sicilians' code of honor is an antiquated and repellent one, but 
even his vendetta is less ruthless than the Kentucky moun- 
taineer's. It stops at the grave. Judged in the mass, Italians 
are peaceable, as they are law-abiding. The exceptions make up 
the national criminal record ; and as there is a French or English 
type of criminal, so there is a Sicilian type, who has succeeded 
in impressing our imaginations with some fear and terror. 

The Mafia is the expression of Sicilian criminality, and here, 
as in Italy, the methods of the Sicilian criminal are the -same. 
For some of his crimes he is more apt to have an accompilre 
than most other criminals. But there is no sufficient reason for 
believing that a Mafia, organized as it often is in Italy, a definite 
society of the lawless, exists anywhere in this country. No one 


who knows the different Italian colonies well will admit the 
possibility of its existence. The authorities at police head- 
quarters scout the idea. As with the Mafia, so with the Black 
Hand. I went to Sergeant Petrosino, who is said to know every 
important Italian criminal in New York. He disposed very 
summarily of the bogey : 

As far as they can be traced, threatening letters are generally a hoax ; 
some of them are attempts at blackmail by inexperienced criminals, 
who have had the idea suggested to them by reading about the Black 
Hand in the sensational papers ; but the number of threatening letters 
sent with the deliberate intention of using violence as a last resort to 
extort money is ridiculously small. 

It is important that two or three other truths about the 
Italian should be known. Like all their immigrant predecessors, 
Italians profess no special cult of soap and water; and here, 
too, there are differences, for some Italians are cleaner than others. 
Still, cleanliness is the rule and dirt the exception. The inspectors 
of the New York Tenement-House Department report that the 
tenements in the Italian quarters are in the best condition of 
all, and that they are infinitely cleaner than those in the Jewish 
and Irish districts. And the same with overcrowding. One of 
New York's typical "Little Italics" is inhabited by 1075 Italian 
families so poor that only twenty-six of them pay over $19 
monthly rent and yet, when a complete canvass was made by 
the Federation of Churches, the average allotment of space was 
found to be one room to 1.7 persons. Like the Germans and Irish 
of the fifties, our Italians are largely poor, ignorant peasants 
when they come to us. But by the enforcement of the recent 
law our present immigrants are greatly superior physically and 
morally to those of the Know-No thing days. The difference in 
criminal records is partly the proof of a better law. The worst 
of the newer tenements are better than the best of the old kind, 
and every surrounding is more sanitary. Better schools, rec- 
reation piers, public baths, playgrounds, and new parks are 
helping the Italian children of the tenements to develop into 
healthy and useful men and women. 

To understand our Italians we need to get close enough to them 
to see that they are of the same human pasta to use their word 


-as the rest of us. They need no defense but the truth. In 
spite of the diverse character that all the provinces stamp upon 
their children, our southern Italian immigrants still have many 
qualities in common. Their peculiar defects and vices have been 
exaggerated until the popular notion of the Italian represents 
the truth in. about the same way that the London stage Yankee 
hits off the average American. Besides, as the Italian Poor 
Richard says, "It's a bad wool that can't be dyed," and our 
Italians have their virtues, too, which should be better known. 
Many of them are, it is true, ignorant, and clannish, and con- 
servative. Their humility and lack of self-reliance are often 
discouraging. Many think that a smooth and diplomatic false- 
hood' is better than an uncivil truth, and, by a paradox, a liar 
is not necessarily either a physical or a moral coward. No force 
can make them give evidence against one another. Generally 
they have little orderliness, small civic sense, and no instinctive 
faith in the law. Some of them are hot-blooded and quick to 
avenge an injury, but the very large majority are gentle, kindly, 
and as mild-tempered as oxen. They are docile, patient, faithful. 
They have great physical vigor, and are the hardest and best 
laborers we have ever had, if we are to believe the universal 
testimony of their employers. Many are well-mannered and 
quick-witted; all are severely logical. As a class they are 
emotional, imaginative, fond of music and art. They are honest, 
saving, industrious, temperate, and so exceptionally moral that 
two years ago the Secretary of the Italian Chamber of Commerce 
in San Francisco was able to boast that the police of that city had 
never yet found an Italian woman of evil character. Even in 
New York (and I have my information from Mr. Forbes, of the 
Charity Organization Society) Italian prostitution was entirely 
unknown until by our corrupt police it was colonized as scien- 
tifically as a culture of bacteria made by a biologist ; and to-day 
it is less proportionately than that of any other nationality 
within the limits of the greater city. More than 750,000 Italian 
immigrants have come to us within the last four years, and during 
that entire time only a single woman of them has been ordered 
deported charged with prostitution. 

So far from being a scum of Italy's paupers and criminals, our 
Italian immigrants are the very flower of her peasantry. They 


bring healthy bodies and a prodigious will to work. They have an 
intense love for their fatherland, and a fondness for old customs : 
and both are deepened by the hostility they meet and the gloom of 
the tenements that they are forced to inhabit. The sunshine, 
the simplicity, the happiness of the old outdoor ways are gone, 
and often you will hear the words, "Non c'e piacere nella vita" 
- there is no pleasure in life here. But yet they come, driven 
from the land of starvation to a land of plenty. Each year about 
one third of the great host of industrial recruits from Italy, 
breaking up as it lands into little groups of twos and threes, and 
invading the tenements almost unnoticed, settles in the different 
colonies of New York. This is a mighty, silent influence for the 
preservation of the Italian spirit and tradition. 

But there are limits to the building of an Italian city on 
American soil. New York tenement houses are not adapted to 
life as it is organized in the hill villages of Italy, and a change has 
come over every relation of life. The crowded living is strange and 
depressing ; instead of work accompanied by song in orangeries 
and vineyards, there is silent toil in the canons of a city street ; 
instead of the splendid and expostulating carabiniere there is the 
rough force of the New York policeman to represent authority. 
There is the diminished importance of the church, and, in spite 
of their set ways, there is different eating and drinking, sleep- 
ing and waking. A different life breeds different habits, and dif- 
ferent habits with American surroundings effect a radical change 
in the man. It is difficult for the American to realize this. 
He sees that the signs and posters of the colony are all in Ital- 
ian; he hears the newsboys cry "Progresso," "Araldo," "Bolle- 
tino" ; he hears peddlers shout out in their various dialects the 
names of strange-looking vegetables and fish. The whole 
district seems so Italianized and cut off from the general 
American life that it might as well be one of the ancient walled 
towns of the Apennines. He thinks that he is transported to 
Italy, and moralizes over the " unchanging colony." But the 
greenhorn from Fiumefreddo is in another world. Everything 
is strange to him; and I have repeatedly heard Italians say 
that for a long time after landing they could not distinguish 
between an Italian who had been here four or five years and a 
native American. 


Refractory thaugh the grown-up immigrant may often be to the 
spirit of our Republic, the children almost immediately become 
Americans. The boy takes no interest in "Mora," a guessing 
match played with the fingers, or "Boccie," a kind of bowls 
his father's favorite games. Like any other American boy, he 
plays marbles, "I spy the wolf," and, when there is no policeman 
about, baseball. Little girls skip the rope to the calling of 
"Pepper, salt, mustard, vinegar." The "Lunga Tela" is for- 
gotten, and our equivalent, "London bridge is falling down," 
and "All around the mulberry-bush," sound through the streets 
of the colony on summer evenings. You are struck with the deep 
significance of such a sight if you walk on Mott Street, where 
certainly more than half of the men and women who crowd every 
block can speak no English at all, and see, as I have seen, a 
full dozen of small girls, not more than five or six years old, 
marching along, hand in hand, singing their kindergarten song, 
"My little sister lost her shoe." Through these children the 
common school is leavening the whole mass, and an old story is 
being retold. 

Like the Italians, the Irish and the Germans had to meet dis- 
trust and abuse when they came to do the work of the rough 
day-laborer. The terrors and excesses of Native Americanism and 
Know-Nothingism came and went, but the prejudice remained. 
Yet the Irish and Germans furnished good raw material for 
citizenship, and quickly responded to American influences. 
They dug cellars and carried bricks and mortar ; they sewered, 
graded, and paved the streets and built the railroads. Then 
slowly the number of skilled mechanics among them increased. 
Many acquired a competence and took a position of some dignity 
in the community, and Irish and Germans moved up a little in the 
social scale. They were held in greater respect when, in the dark 
days of the Civil War, we saw that they yielded to none in self-sac- 
rificing devotion to the country. Thousands of Germans fought 
for the Union besides those who served under Sigel. Thousands 
of Irishmen died for the cause besides those of the "Old Sixty- 
ninth." "Dutch" and "Mick" began to go out of fashion as 
nicknames, and the seventies had not passed before it was often 
said among the common people that mixed marriages between 
Germans or Irish and natives were usually happy marriages. 


From the very bottom, Italians are climbing up the same rungs 
of the same social and industrial ladder. But it is still a secret that 
they are being gradually turned into Americans ; and, for all its 
evils, the city colony is a wonderful help in the process. The 
close contact of American surroundings eventually destroys the 
foreign life and spirit, and of this New York gives proof. Only 
two poor fragments remain of the numerous important German 
and Irish colonies that were flourishing in the city twenty-five 
or thirty years ago; while the ancient settled Pennsylvania 
Dutch, thanks to their isolation, are not yet fully merged in the 
great citizen body. And so, in the city colony, Italians are 
becoming Americans. Legions of them, who never intended to 
remain here when they landed, have cast in their lot definitely 
with us ; and those who have already become Americanized, but 
no others, are beginning to intermarry with our people. The mass 
of them are still laborers, toiling like ants in adding to the wealth 
of the country ; but thousands are succeeding in many branches 
of trade and manufacture. The names of Italians engaged in 
business in the United States fill a special directory of over five 
hundred pages. Their real estate holdings and bank deposits 
aggregate enormous totals. Their second generation is already 
crowding into all the professions, and we have Italian teachers, 
dentists, architects, engineers, doctors, lawyers, and judges. 

But more important than any material success is their loyalty 
to the nation of their adoption. Yet with this goes an undying 
love for their native land. There are many types of these new 
citizens. I have in mind an Italian banker who will serve for one. 
His Americanism is enthusiastic and breezily Western. He has 
paid many visits to the land of his birth, and delights in its music, 
art, and literature. He finds an almost sacred inspiration in the 
glories of its history. Beginning in extreme poverty, by his own 
unaided efforts he has secured education and wealth; by his 
services to the city and State in which he lives he has won public 
esteem. Perhaps no other Italian has achieved so brilliant a 
success. But as a citizen he is no more typical or hopeful an 
example of the Italian who becomes an American than Giovanni 
Aloi, a street-sweeper of my acquaintance. 

This honest spazzino of the white uniform sent a son to Cuba 
in the Spanish War; boasts that he has not missed a vote in 


fifteen years ; in his humble way did valiant service in his political 
club against the "boss" of New York during the last campaign. 
And yet he declares that we have no meats or vegetables with 
" the flavor or substance " of those in the old country ; reproaches 
us severely for having "no place which is such a pleasure to see as 
Naples," and swears by "Torqua-ato Ta-ass" as the greatest of 
poets, though he only knows four lines of the Gerusalemme. Side 
by side over the fireplace in his living room are two unframed 
pictures tacked to the wall. Little paper flags of the two countries 
are crossed over each. One is a chromo of Garibaldi in his red 
shirt. The other is a newspaper supplement portrait of Lincoln. 
A man like Giovanni Aloi, yearning for the home of his youth, 
sometimes goes back to Italy, but he soon returns. Un- 
consciously, in his very inmost being, he has become an American, 
and the prophecy of Bayard Taylor's great ode is fulfilled. 
Their tongue melts in ours. Their race unites to the strength of 
ours. For many thousands of them their Italy now lies by the 
western brine. 



WITH the coming of the eighties the original contingent of 
Bohemians and Poles began to be overlaid by a much 
larger volume of newcomers differing in various important re- 
spects from the old. In the first place, the later Slavic immi- 
grants were largely of nationalities previously little represented 
in America. Since up to 1899 the American immigration data 
are classified only by " country of last permanent residence" 
and not by nationality, it is not possible to. get any precise 
measure of this change in the make-up of the Slavic stream. 

Neither can the beginning of the movement to America among 
the newer immigrant nationalities Slovaks and Ruthenians, 
Slovenians and Croatians, Bulgarians, Serbians and Russians 
be dated in any hard and fast way. 1 Apparently, as already 
said, the impulse spread from the Poles in Germany eastward 
to their brothers in Galicia in the latter part of the seventies, 
and to the Poles in Russia somewhat later. The Slovaks began 
to come in considerable numbers in the early eighties, and the 
Ruthenians at about the same time. 

These three nationalities converge in the eastern Carpathian 
district, and more or less interpenetrate one another ; and 
emigration to America having once started, it was natural 
that so contagious a movement should spread through the whole 
Carpathian group. Moreover, among all these peoples trade 
is largely in the hands of the Jews, who are apt to have inter- 
national affiliations, and it seems often to have happened that 

1 Discussion of the origin and spread of the emigration movement among the 
first four of these nationalities will be found in the appropriate chapters in Part I, 
of " Our Slavic Fellow-Citizens " but for convenience it is resumed here as a whole. 



some enterprising Jew first among his fellow townspeople became 
aware of the land of promise across the Atlantic, explored and 
reported on it, and thus set the stream of immigration flowing. 
The South Slavs began to come to America somewhat later. 
Though individual Slovenians came very early, as already men- 
tioned, it was not till about 1892 that the movement became 
noticeably important among them. In the Croatian group, the 
Dalmatians, sailors and wanderers, had sent now and then an 
immigrant from very early times ; but it was not till toward the 
middle of the nineties that Croatians, and especially Croatians 
from the country back of the coast, began coming in numbers. 
Serbians and Bulgarians are still more recent comers, numerous 
only since 1902 or so, but growing rapidly. As to Russians, of 
66,000 in the last eleven years (1899 to 1909 inclusive), over 
nine tenths came after 1902 and over two thirds in the last three 


The grounds of the earlier immigration may be said to have 
been, roughly, the opportunity of acquiring farming land cheaply, 
if not gratuitously, and in a less degree the desire for the greater 
political and religious freedom promised by America. In the 
course of time both these grounds lost their importance. As the 
supply of desirable land to be had on easy terms diminished, 
this incentive to immigration grew weaker, and lessening political 
unrest in Western Europe allayed the other. On the other hand, 
the great industrial development of the United States, following 
after the Civil War, and especially after the hard times in the 
seventies, meant a great increase in the demand for labor. The 
Teutonic element of the older immigration, to which the Bohe- 
mian was very similar, was not looking primarily for wage jobs, 
but for independence, especially the independence of the farm 
owner. The same was largely true of the British immigrants, 
English, Welsh, and Scotch. Besides, neither belonged, in any 
sense, to the class of cheap labor. The Irish alone were not 
enough to supply the demand for "hands," and French-Cana- 
dians, while an important element in New England, have not 
been numerous elsewhere. Italians and Slavs, proving most 
available, were consequently called in to meet the want. 


These newer groups of Slavic immigrants were mainly drawn 
from more primitive districts than the earlier groups, districts 
where the population was less in touch with Western Europe. 
They generally came, not intending to take up farms and settle, 
but hoping to earn money to send back to their homes, to which 
they planned to return. To this end they sought the best-paid 
work that they could find in mines, foundries, factories, and else- 
where. A large proportion of both the old and the new comers 
were peasants, that is, small independent farmers ; but among 
the new, the proportion of men possessing trades was less, and 
mere laborers were more numerous. 


Historically, the American origin of the more recent immigra- 
tion, so far as such a movement can have a specific origin, seems 
to have been the desire of certain Pennsylvania anthracite mine 
owners to replace the employes that they found hard to deal with, 
and especially the Irish, with cheaper and more docile material. 
Strikes were a frequent source of friction, the Molly Maguire 
affair had caused great bitterness, and it was natural that 
employers should be on the lookout for new sources of labor 
supply. In a number of places these raw recruits of industry 
seem to have been called in as the result of a strike, and there 
probably were plenty of instances of sending agents abroad to 
hire men or of otherwise inducing labor to immigrate either under 
contract or with an equivalent understanding. These proceedings 
were, of course, perfectly legal up to 1885, when the law for- 
bidding the importation of labor under contract was passed. 

One story is that the first comers were brought over for a 
certain mine operator at Drifton, Pennsylvania, through an 
"Austrian" foreman. I have never been able to verify the story 
nor to date it. I was interested to run across a Slovak hatter 
in Bartfield, Hungary, who emigrated about 1880, and told of 
having gone "to Drifton, where there was an Austrian foreman," 
who, however, does not appear to have had anything to do with 
his emigrating. 1 

1 Industrial Commission, Vol. XV (1901), page 32. 


Mr. Powderly, formerly Commissioner of Immigration, testified 
before the Industrial Commission : 

I believe in 1869, during a miners' strike which was then in prog- 
ress, a man who was connected with one of the coal companies made 
the statement that in order to defeat the men in their demands it 
would be necessary to bring cheap labor from Europe, and shortly 
after that, miners were noticed coming to the anthracite region in 
large numbers from Italy, Hungary, Russia, and other far-off lands. 

It will be seen that Mr. Powderly mentions a comparatively 
early date at which the importation of workmen under contract 
was in no way forbidden. But even then such a course, while 
legal, would have been unpopular among workingmen, and prob- 
ably always more or less sub rosa. This may be one reason why 
it is very hard to get any definite information about these 
matters ; but indeed, on both sides of the water, the doings of less 
than a generation ago are surprisingly hard to ascertain. 


In Pennsylvania the great early goal appears to have been, as 
already indicated, the anthracite coal region of the eastern part 
of the state. The Poles seem to have been the first to come, and 
right on their heels came the Slovaks. An informant from Hazle- 
ton, a district where they appeared quite early, gave me, in 1904, 
the following account of their first arrival : 

They began to come about twenty years ago; a few stray ones 
came earlier. Nowadays not so many are coming, but at one time 
they came in batches, shipped by the carload to the coal fields. 
When they arrived they seemed perfectly aimless. It was hard for 
them to make themselves understood, and they would be sent to a man 
who kept a saloon on Wyoming street. They would land at the 
depot, and at the beginning they would spend the first night on the 
platform. I have quartered many in my stable on the hay. One 
pulled out a prayer-book and read a prayer. They were mainly 
Catholics, but some were Protestants, though we did not know that 
till later. Sometimes they would go up into the brush and build a 
fire and sleep, or if it was too cold, just sit there on the ground. As 
soon as they had earned something, or if they had a little money, they 
would go to the baker's or get meat of any cheap sort, regardless of 


its condition. Many were so poor that they came in old army suits, 1 
their belongings all in one big bundle. At first it was only men that 


An interesting account of the coming of the first Poles to the 
Connecticut valley farms of Massachusetts tells how here, as in 
Pennsylvania, the influx was in direct .response to a demand on 
the part of employers : 2 

It was about twenty years ago that the Poles were first brought to 
the Connecticut Valley. In the particular section under consideration, 
the farmers could not hire men and boys to work on their farms, or 
girls and women to assist in the household work. The demand was 
pressing. Charles Parsons of Northampton, who has since died, then 
a pushing, aggressive farmer, conceived the idea of going to New York 
and Castle Garden and there securing enough of the strong and sturdy 
immigrants to meet the demand for farm and domestic labor. 

The business grew rapidly. Mr. Parsons made weekly trips. 
Agents at New York told the incoming immigrants as pleasing stories 
as was necessary to make the Pole see the Connecticut Valley farms 
as the promised land. Being new and green to America, the Pole at 
first paid the highest price, and was given the small end of the bargain. 
The agent in New York had to have a fee for his trouble. Mr. Parsons 
had to advance the money to bring the Pole to the farm, and, of course, 
he had to have a profit also. This meant, as a rule, that the immigrant 
was practically mortgaged for $10 when he commenced work. It 
was, of course, to be taken out of the wages to be paid him for his 
labor. The contract was not particularly bad for either the farmer 
or laborer. The men came first, and were followed by women and 
children. How many Mr. Parsons took from New York cannot be 
stated. The number must have been in the thousands. 

Next Francis Clapp of South Deerfield took up the business. 
Mr. Clapp is one of the substantial farmers of the Mill River 
district in South Deerfield. He tells his story in this way : 

I began with the Poles in 1889. I continued it for six years and then 
it was no longer profitable. The Poles had learned by this time to 

1 Some of the peasant costumes might easily be mistaken for some sort of uni- 

2 Boston Daily Globe, June 29, 1902. 


find their own places. In many cases their relatives, who had been 
working in this country for several years, sent for their friends. 
They secured places for them. During the six years I secured places 
for more than three thousand. I sent them to places in each of the six 
New England states, men and women, boys and girls. I treated them 
well. I found many of them suspicious, but they were " square" as a 
rule. The yarns told them by some of the New York agents and by 
others who desired to make money out of them, at times caused 
trouble. One day I brought eighteen to South Deerfield. The New 
York agent had told them that they had friends in the vicinity. Of 
course I knew nothing of this. I did not have an interpreter, and we 
could not talk. They realized they had been deceived, and they 
determined to go back to New York. I succeeded in keeping only 
three. The other fifteen walked back to New York. They were 
entirely without money. They were frightened, and went in a drove. 

I had a license from the town to transact the business. I secured 
a girl as an interpreter who spoke seven different dialects. She could 
also do as much work in the house as any girl we ever had. She went 
back to New York after a time, married, and went to work in a cigar 
factory. While they were waiting for places if such happened to be 
the case or for other reasons they were quartered at my farm. 

They seem, when they first come, to be entirely without nerves. 
They sleep well under all conditions. Their appetites are enormous. 
Of course they are given only coarse food. I have known the men to 
eat from ten to fifteen potatoes at a meal, together with meat and 
bread. They are very rarely sick. 

They make good citizens. Almost without exception they are 
Roman Catholics, and faithful to their obligations. They are willing 
to pay the price to succeed. That price is to work hard and save. 
They do not keep their money about them. They place it in the 
savings banks. When I first went to New York to get them it cost 
the farmer nothing. The Pole had to pay the fee for the New York 
agent, the money which I advanced to pay his fare, and other expenses, 
and the profit I made. Then, as they grew to know the custom better, 
the Pole paid half and the farmer half. Now the farmer has to pay 
the whole when the men come from a distance. 

As a rule, the men are hired for a season of eight months, the 
time of outdoor work on the farms. At first the contracts, on an 
average, were about $80 for the eight months. The Poles were given 
little money, only as they needed it. They had to work off the mort- 
gage of $10 which they had contracted. They really needed little 
money. They were fed and lodged, and, as a rule, they had sufficient 


clothing, for they had little occasion to dress finely. There was a 
chance, too, that if they had money they might leave the former with- 
out help, and so the settlement came at the end of the contract period. 

Roman Skibisky is a young Pole who is quite a daring speculator 
as well as farmer. He lives in what was formerly one of the fine old 
mansions on the broad main street of Sunderland. For several years 
he has been plunging more or less in onions. Last fall he made his 
heaviest strike. All told, he purchased about 6500 bushels of onions. 
They cost him on an average less than forty cents a bushel. He kept 
them until this spring and sold them at an average of $1.10 a bushel. 

Taking out the cost of cold storage and insurance he netted more 
than $4000 on an investment of about $2600. At one time he could 
have sold his entire holdings at $1.25 a bushel. His success has not 
given him a big head. He works barefooted in the field this season 
just as though he had not made a rich strike. When Mrs. Skibisky 
was asked what she likes in this country she replied, "Me happy 
here." They have three children. 


Just as in emigration districts in Europe one hears of more 
than one " first man to go to America," so on this side there 
doubtless have been many "first comers." Sporadic and exper- 
imental trials of the land of the dollar, both induced and sponta- 
neous, have opened new fields to immigrants. As a spider 
throws his first thin thread across, and, his anchorage secured, 
gradually thickens and confirms it, so each immigrant who gets 
an economic foothold strengthens the bridge between the coun- 
tries and draws others over. Thus among the Slavs the streams 
of immigration, once set flowing, have made paths for them- 
selves, and constantly increased in volume. As one labor market 
becomes supplied, new openings are sought and found. 


The character of the later Slavic influx naturally produced 
a territorial distribution quite different from that of the older 
- movement. The new immigrants, guided in the main by the 
chances of good wages rather than of cheap land, rapidly found 
their way to the points where there was a demand for their 
undaunted though unskilled labor. Once within the country, no 


contract labor law impeded the employers' agents, and men were 
drafted off to different places according as hands were needed 
in mine, coke oven, rolling mill, lumber camp, or, less typically, 
factory. Consequently, while the immigrants of the preceding 
period had mainly gone to the farming country lying north and 
west of Chicago, these later comers, answering primarily the 
call for labor in mines and related industries, found their center 
of gravity in Pennsylvania, and spread thence through the 
industrial districts, especially the industrial districts of the 
middle West, and above all to the various mining and metal- 
working centers throughout the country. 


But though during this period agricultural settlement 1 has 
been overshadowed, it has by no means been lacking, especially 
among the Bohemians and the Poles. It has taken place mainly 
in the group of states west of the Great Lakes ; but in the Connect- 
icut Valley, and elsewhere in the East, the number of 
"Polanders" who have bought land is also considerable. I have 
been surprised to see in a Bohemian paper in New York the space 
devoted to advertisement of Connecticut and other farms. 


This period has also seen the formation of large urban colonies 
of different nationalities, in various cities large and small, 
colonies which often have very curious and interesting distinctive 
features. 2 Such a movement as this later Slavic immigration is, 

1 Cf. Chapter XV of " Our Slavic Fellow-Citizens " for a discussion of this 
phase of settlement. 

2 Cf., for the Bohemians of Chicago, Mrs. Humpal-Zeman's account in "Hull 
House Maps and Papers," and Dr. Alice Masaryk's article, "The Bohemians in 
Chicago," in Charities, Vol. XIII, pages 206-210 (December 3, 1904). On Bohe- 
mians in New York see Dr. Jane E. Robbins, "The Bohemian Women in New 
York," ibid , pages 194-196. In the same issue of Charities Miss Laura B. Garret 
has "Notes on the Poles in Baltimore," and Miss Sayles an article on "Housing 
and Social Conditions in a Slavic Neighborhood," which deals with Jersey City. 
Another study of conditions among the Slavs of Jersey City by Miss E. T. White has 
been published by Whittier House. Of these various accounts those by the two 
Bohemian women first mentioned are much the most valuable to those who are 
seeking true understanding of the life of such a group as is there studied. 



however, hard to deal with historically. It has little coherent 
history, and what it has is still too much in the making to be 
easily studied or presented. . . . 










I I ^26 

62 A.1Z 

I4C 714. 


48 Z<7 

14.7 4.4.O 

28? 4.O7 






210 82Q 

622 806 

i 18$ 64.$ 

Total per cent of foreign born 


6 8 

I -2 A 

The period since 1880 has seen not only changes in the racial 
and economic character of the Slavs coming to the United States 
but a vast increase in their numbers. A rough indication of this 
is the large share of the foreign-born population that comes to 
be made up of natives of Austria-Hungary (including Bohemia), 
Poland, and Russia. As shown in the Table above, in 1880 
they were 3.2 per cent of the total foreign-born ; in 1890, 6.8 per 
cent ; in 1900, 13.4 per cent. In absolute numbers they increased 
in the twenty years over sixfold, from something over 200,000 to 
nearly 1,400,000. 

If we consider, not population as shown by the census, but the 
count of arriving immigrants, the increase is even more striking. 
In the last decade of our previous period, 1871-1880, Austria- 
Hungary and Russia 1 sent us 4.5 per cent of all immigrants ; in 
the decade 1900-1909 they sent 'almost 43 per cent. 

1 Austria- Hungary presumably includes Bohemia and Austrian Poland (Galicia) ; 
Russia includes Russian Poland. That is, all Poland except German Poland is 
included. It must of course be remembered that these groups of immigrants are 
very mixed racially. 



Up to 1899 the best material that we have consists of the 
figures, supplied by the immigration authorities, as to the 
countries from which immigration is drawn. After that year 
the immigration figures are also classified according to "races 
and peoples" l and these not only give us direct information, 
but throw light on the racial significance of the figures for the 
different geographical contingents, which are all that we have 
to go by for the years before 1899. We find that during the 
decade 1899-1908, the immigration from Austria-Hungary was 
six tenths Slavic. Since there is no reason to think that this 
proportion would be less in earlier years, and since for the same 
decade 69 per cent of all Slavic immigrants came to us from Aus- 
tria-Hungary (and for earlier periods this proportion would 
doubtless be still larger), the Austro-Hungarian contribution to 
our immigration may be taken as a rough index of the incoming 
Slavs. . . . 

The year 1880, which we have taken as our landmark, shows 
a sudden rise, the numbers of that year being almost three times 
those of the preceding. From this time onward there is an in- 
crease, which is, however, sharply checked in 1893 by the de- 
pression then beginning. It was not till 1900 that the numbers 
reacted from this to their level of 1892. The culminating point 
up to date was reached in 1907, after which the recent panic 
again lessened the influx, and started a new period of decline, 
though a brief one, since the figures for 1909 indicated a re- 
covery from 168,509 to 1 70, 1 9 1. 2 


The change spoken of above by which the immigration data are 
presented by racial and national groups instead of by country 
of last permanent residence only, is a great boon to the student 
of this subject. The classification was made by one of our best 

1 For a criticism of this classification, see below, "Our Slavic Fellow-Citizens," 
page 247. 

2 The years are not calendar but fiscal years ending June 30, so that e.g. 1907 
means July i, 1906, to June 30, 1907. 


known ethnologists, the late Professor Otis T. Mason, but it is 
probably impossible to make one that shall be at once practical 
and quite logical. This one is open to several minor objections. 
Distinct nationalities like Croatians and Slovenians, Bulgarians 
and Serbians, are lumped together, and at the same time special 
place is given to a group which is merely a territorial division ; 
namely, Dalmatians, Bosnians, and Herzegovinians (who are 
Servo-Croatians) . 

It is hard, however, to explain or excuse, the practice of the 
immigration authorities of including Hebrews in the Slavic 
group, as was done, for instance, on page 21 of the 1906 report 
of the Commissioner General of Immigration. In the same report 
the Lithuanians and Rumanians are also included as Slavic, but 
this is less objectionable as these peoples, although they never 
count themselves as Slavs nor are so counted by others, and 
although they speak non-Slavic languages, probably have much 
Slavic intermixture, and considerably resemble, in culture and 
habits, the neighboring Slavic peoples. The same might be 
said of the Magyars, despite their Mongolian type of speech. 

The Jew, on the contrary, even the Polish or Russian Jew, is 
not only remote in blood and speech from all Slavs, but moves in 
another world of ideas and purposes, and plays a very different 
economic part both in Europe and America. To put him into 
one class with Slavic immigrants in a table of racial divisions 
can only create confusion. 1 

The years 1899 an d 1908 are the earliest and latest for which 
full information as to immigrants by races is available. In 
these ten years the country admitted over one and a half mil- 
lion Slavs, many of whom, however, had been here before or have 
since returned. It is not uncommon for a Slovak to have made 
the trip to America eight times, in which case he appears in our 
figures as eight immigrants. 

1 For a further consideration of this subject, see Boeckh : " The Determination 
of Racial Stock among American Immigrants." Quarterly Publications, Ameri- 
can Statistical Association, Vol. X, pp. 199-221 (December, 1906). 



Statistics show that for the period between the years 1899 and 
1908, .69 in 100 of Slavic arrivals came, as already said, from 
Austria-Hungary, 25 per cent more from Russia, 2 per cent each 
from Germany and the territory Bulgaria-Servia-Montenegro, 1 
per cent from Turkey, and only i per cent from all other coun- 
tries combined. 

The immigration from Bulgaria, Servia, and Montenegro is 
almost wholly Slavic (96 per cent), that from Austria nearly 
two thirds such (61 per cent), while the streams from Russia and 
Turkey are not far from one third Slavic, and that from Germany 
is one tenth Slavic. 

Our previous study of conditions in Europe, combined with 
the American figures, indicates that we have received during the 
decade 1899-1908 the following groups from the countries 

I. From Austria-Hungary : 

Bohemians (Chekhs) from Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia 


Poles from Galicia (about 335,651). 
Slovaks from northern Hungary (about 320,047). 
Ruthenians from Galicia and northeastern Hungary (about 

Slovenians from the Austrian province of Carniola and adjacent 

parts (number unknown). 1 
Croatians from Croatia-Slavonia, Istria, Dalmatia, Bosnia and 

Herzegovina, and southern Hungary (number unknown). 1 
Serbians from the same territory (certainly less than 28,677). 

II. From outside Austria-Hungary : 

The largest of the three Polish contingents, that from Russia 

(3 6 9>973)- 

The smallest of the three Polish contingents, that from Germany 

Russians proper, from Russia (53,454), only between three and 
four per cent of the total of almost a million and a half immi- 
grants that Russia has sent us in the decade. 


Serbians (beside those from Austria-Hungary) from Serbia, Mon- 
tenegro, Bulgaria (?), and Turkey (?) (number unknown). 1 
Montenegrins are Serbians from Montenegro. 

And lastly, Bulgarians from Bulgaria and Turkey, which latter, 
I suppose, here means Macedonia (number unknown). 

A large part of the Slavic immigrants that come from outside 
the five main fields ((i) Austria-Hungary, (2) Russia, (3) Ger- 
many, (4) Bulgaria, Serbia, and Montenegro, and (5) Turkey in 
Europe) are those who give their last permanent residence as 
British North America or the United States. The latter rubric 
was, however, provided only in the 1906 tables, in which it occu- 
pies a large space (1059 Poles, for instance, gave the United 
States as their last country of permanent residence). 


Turning now to the consideration of the separate national 
streams, it has been noted that the great numerical predomi- 
nance is with the Poles, who make up 44 per cent of the Slav 
total for the decade. The little people of the Slovaks make the 
second group, with almost one fifth of the whole. Third comes 
the mixed group of Croatians and Slovenians, which the data 
do not allow us to separate, and which together make over 16 
per cent. The other groups are all much smaller. The Bohe- 
mians, who were the most important group of Slavic immigrants 
in the earlier years, and even in 1880 were not far from twice as 
numerous in the country as natives of Poland, sank during this 
period to one twentieth of the whole; that is, to less than the 
little group of the Ruthenians and to scarcely more than those 
newcomers, the Serbians and Bulgarians. 

Even within the period the emphasis has been shifting. Within 
the Slavic group, as in European immigration in general, the 
spread of the movement has trended south and east. Taking 
1907, the year of the high tide of immigration, and comparing 

1 Unfortunately the immigration data are so grouped as to make it impossible 
to distinguish Croatians and Slovenians from one another, or Bulgarians and 
Serbians from one another, though these are all separate nationalities with distinct 


this with 1899, we see that the different groups have increased at 
very different rates. The Bulgarian-Serbian group rose from 
under 100 to 27,000 or to two hundred and ninety-one times as 
many. The related group from Dalmatia and Bosnia increased 
twentyfold; the Ruthenians, starting with 1400, rose to over 
24,000, multiplying more than seven times; the Russians in- 
creased their numbers nearly ten times. The older immigration 
groups also increased, though at a less rate; Bohemians and 
Poles and the Croatian-Slovenian group all about fivefold, while 
the Slovaks increased less than threefold, and reached their 
maximum in 1905. 


We must, however, be on guard in using any immigration totals 
not to overlook the fact that they represent gross, not net, 
arrivals. We must allow for the numbers of immigrants returning 
from the United States. In the appendix to the report of the 
Commissioner General of Immigration for 1908, an estimate is 
attempted of "Alien departures/' with the result that the ac- 
cepted immigration figures should be reduced as follows : 

1899 by 41 per cent 1904 by 37 per cent 

1900 by 31 per cent 1905 by 34 per cent 

1901 by 28 per cent 1906 by 26 per cent 

1902 by 21 per cent 1907 by 22 per cent 

1903 by 21 per cent 1908 by 73 per cent 

That is, while the total immigration for 1908 was 782,870, 
the real, net immigration was only 209,867, or not far above 
a quarter as much, and for this one year the figures are not 
estimated but actual. What then are we to suppose in regard 
to the Slavic immigration? What proportion of their total of 
nearly 1,700,000 during the decade 1899-1908 represents a net 
addition to our numbers ? We may get a side light on this by 
studying the successive immigration reports, which give the 
number of immigrants of each nationality who have been in 
the country previously. Statistics present percentages for two 
years (for 1906 and^ for purposes of comparison, for 1900), 
and I find to my own surprise that the English, Irish, and 


Scotch have the largest proportion and thus appear to come 
and go the most, and that the Scandinavians and Germans also 
stand high. The Slovaks have nearly as high a rate of those 
returning as the Irish, in both years ; other Slavs have smaller 
proportions. Jews, as one might expect, come to stay, and go 
back and forth less than any other class noted. 

From these figures we see that while the Slavs, except the 
Slovaks, are (if the data are correct) less migratory than the 
average, there is still a large deduction to be made for those 
entering the country more than once, and in addition to this, 
for the large though hitherto unknown number who leave and do 
not return. 

Another indication of the discrepancy between immigration 
totals and net additions to the population is given by a comparison 
of the figures for immigration with the United States census. 
Foreign countries sent us, in the decade 1891-1900, 3,687,564 
immigrants. The census of 1900, however, shows a gain of 
foreign born since 1890 of less than a third as many (1,091,729). 
Part of this difference, but not by any means all of it, is accounted 
for by deaths among our foreign-born population. 



THE one thing really settled is that there shall not be a free 
flow of laborers from such a high pressure country as Japan 
to the low pressure United States for the mere pecuniary gain 
of those who come. No country can afford indefinitely to 
provide the opportunity for draining off an excess of population 
found elsewhere the diminished numbers to be quickly re- 
placed by a high birth rate. There are few in the United States 
who will question the wisdom of the principle of restriction rather 
vigorously applied and most of the Japanese people freely con- 
cede it. Japan has for some time been acting upon that prin- 
ciple in restricting emigration directly or indirectly, that is, by 
way of Mexico and Canada, to the United States. She has ap- 
plied it also in dealing with Chinese laborers who came to her 
own shores. 

With reference to this matter I wish not to be misunderstood. 
Until conditions materially change, vigorous restriction of the 
free movement of laborers from Japan must be taken for granted. 
It must not be taken for granted, however, because of any alleged 
inferiority of the Japanese race, for it is not an inferior one. 
Nor must it be taken for granted because of dependency, disorder, 
ignorance, or undesirability attaching possibly to some indi- 
viduals, for there has been no problem of any moment connected 
with any of these. Nor, again, must it be taken for granted 
because of gambling or related evils found in some places, for 
the communities in which such evils have arisen are chiefly to 
blame for them. Nevertheless, in a practical world restrictions 
must be taken for granted, because of evils for which no one 

1 Printed by The American Sociological Society and The Committee of One 
Hundred, Federal Council of Churches in America, August, 1915. 



in particular was to blame, but connected with the earlier influx 
and perhaps inherent in a comparatively free movement of immi- 
grants from Eastern Asia to such a country as the United States. 

One of the evils experienced and which is indissolubly con- 
nected with any considerable immigration of Asiatic laborers 
is the conflict of economic standards. We have witnessed it 
in industry when employment was taken by the Asiatics as 
section hands and shop and mill laborers at lower wages than 
others were paid. Seldom, it is true, was the underbidding 
through the acceptance of lower wages great. The primary 
reason for the difference of only about twenty or twenty-five 
cents per day in wages was that the slightly lower sum was 
sufficient to absorb the numbers available. The wages accepted 
in Hawaii and elsewhere would indicate that the rates accepted 
here might have been lower if need be to be effective in securing 
employment. But when the immigration was greatest, industry 
was expanding, there was a shortage of labor at the wages then 
current, and the contractors, working in connection with board- 
ing-houses and other sources of supply, could place their Japanese 
laborers at the slight discount indicated. Yet that the immi- 
gration of Japanese laborers and the organized search for employ- 
ment previous to 1908 was accompanied by effective under- 
bidding is an established fact. In spite of the expanding industry, 
a check was placed upon the increase in wages and improvement 
in labor conditions. That organized labor was the first to pro- 
test against the competition was only to be expected, for organized 
labor stands for the maintenance and improvement of standards. 
Laborers without organization, also to the best of their lim- 
ited ability, stood opposed to any impairment of their working 

But the Japanese laborers were employed much more exten- 
sively in agriculture than in industrial pursuits such as those 
just mentioned. They accepted the places vacated by the aging 
and disappearing Chinese, maintained the old Asiatic labor econ- 
omy, and extended it to new branches of agriculture as they 
developed in California and to the sugar industry as it gained 
an important place in several of the western states. They found 
employment chiefly as migratory hand laborers in the growing 
of intensive crops, where much of the work is of the stoop-over 


variety and unattractive to white men. They easily found 
place in such occupations because they were organized by and 
easily secured through bosses, were easily shifted from place to 
place as needed, were easily housed and self-subsisting, and, 
to begin with, always accepted lower wages than white men, 
whether paid by the day or by the job. They, of course, by 
reason of their availability, cheapness, and fair efficiency, had 
not a little to do with the rapid advance of branches of agriculture 
of an intensive type and of farming communities where the supply 
of labor was not at all commensurate with the needs of the highly 
specialized operations most profitable if labor was readily avail- 
able on favorable terms. Indeed by Asiatic labor not a few of 
the out-of-the-way places were brought to that state of develop- 
ment where they could be settled by others. In other words, 
their labor was to a considerable extent supplementary to that 
of others. Moreover, it must be admitted that their presence 
made more employment for laborers in some occupations in 
which they did not themselves compete for work. Yet it is true 
that there was considerable displacement of other laborers be- 
cause of the easy terms on which the Japanese could be obtained. 
The disappearance of the Chinese was hastened by their compe- 
tition, and in some instances white laborers as well were dis- 
placed. The Japanese were effective competitors and generally 
underbid for work. Moreover, others tended to withdraw as 
certain agricultural occupations became tainted. My investi- 
gations have led me to the conclusion that the economic effects 
of the employment of the Japanese in agricultural work were 
(i) to promote certain kinds of farming and to hasten the develop- 
ment of the natural resources, (2) to cause an advance in land 
values, (3) to retard the subdivision of large holdings and to 
maintain a certain amount of capitalistic agriculture, (4) to retard 
the advance in wages of unskilled laborers and to extend the old 
labor economy, and (5) to give the Japanese a pivotal place in 
the labor supply, especially in many California communities. 
As this pivotal place was secured less room was left for the em- 
ployment of others in certain occupations and they sought work 

Most of the Japanese who came to us brought only their hands 
and sought to better their economic condition as laborers in some 


of the lower and more distasteful walks of life. With time, 
however, a relatively large number became shopkeepers or 
tenant or landowning farmers. Few races have made the transi- 
tion as quickly as the Japanese, and in their shopkeeping and 
farming, differences in standards corresponding to those in wage- 
employment became evident. 

The number of Japanese farmers, most of them tenant, in the 
West in 1909, was perhaps not far from 6000. Many of their 
4000 holdings were not farms, but small plots, so that the com- 
bined acreage held by them was perhaps approximately 200,000, 
about three quarters of it in California. Though this acreage 
seems to be of little consequence where millions of acres sparsely 
settled are found in the West, it had perhaps tripled in five years, 
and the details connected with the rapid progress thus shown 
were significant of what might be expected to happen were 
large numbers admitted to the country, and gave rise to fear 
for the future especially in those localities in which most of 
them found place. More recently they have continued to make 
substantial progress as farmers. It is my opinion that with a 
large immigration of Asiatics, and especially of Japanese, much 
of the land would rapidly come into their possession and impor- 
tant changes in the composition and life of agricultural communi- 
ties settled in would occur. With an immigration problem, an 
important land problem would inevitably develop. The reasons 
for this conclusion may be briefly presented. 

Numerous things have combined to place a premium on shop- 
keeping or farming by the versatile and efficient Japanese. The 
Japanese are ambitious, and the immigrants of every ambitious 
race tend strongly to rise in the adopted country to the position 
they occupied in their native land. This is especially true of the 
Japanese, who find the wage relation distasteful. With them to 
be a wage earner is to show inferiority; to be economically 
independent shows merit. Again, their advance as employees 
to the higher occupations has been made difficult, and this has 
virtually forced many to leave the wage-earning class in order 
to advance at all. Most of them have been employed in gangs 
and limited to work done by gangs. A third important factor 
is found in the fact that they are a home-loving people and wish 
to have their families with them. Ordinarily this has been 


difficult unless they become shopkeepers or farmers. If laborers, 
they were expected to be rolling stones, and to live under such 
conditions as to make a desirable family life impossible. 

Again, because of the great respect attaching to agriculture 
in Japan and the highly developed agricultural arts there found, 
in so far as labor and scientific application are concerned, the 
Japanese have been the more eager to obtain possession of farms. 
But most important of all has been the place they have occupied 
in the agricultural labor supply, especially in California. 

It is a general fact that the land tends to fall into the posses- 
sion of the race employed as laborers, if the race is a capable 
one. It has been only a slight change from the employment of 
Japanese laborers under a "boss" to share tenancy where the 
landowner provided most of the equipment, did the work with 
teams, advanced the wages of the employees, managed the 
business in all of its details, sold the produce and collected the 
selling price, and then shared this with the tenant after all bills 
were paid. Cash tenancy, with liberal advances and the rent 
collected out of the receipts from crops sold, differs little except 
that more of the risk is taken by the tenant. To the landowner, 
however, either arrangement has had the distinct advantage 
of interesting the "boss" and obtaining with a greater degree 
of certainty his cooperation in securing laborers as needed and 
in supervising them at work. Most of the tenant farming by 
Japanese in the growing of grapes and deciduous fruit in Cali- 
fornia and in growing sugar beets everywhere has grown out 
of the fact that the Japanese worked under a "boss" and occu- 
pied a dominant place in the labor supply required for taking 
care of the crop. As some landowners leased their holdings and 
secured an advantage in the labor market, there was the more 
reason for others to do so. 

Again, the Japanese, like the Chinese before them, have had 
an advantage over other races, as competitors for land, in Cali- 
fornia especially, because they could be easily and cheaply pro- 
vided with shelter. If not the bunkhouse, then a corresponding 
shelter would suffice ; and if a new structure was required, it was 
frequently built by the tenant with the privilege of removing 
it upon the expiration of the lease. The landowner and his family, 
if they desired, as in most cases they have, could occupy the farm 


residence and reserve such part of the farm as was desired. The 
members of no white race could be had as tenants unless the 
family residence was let with the land ; or cottages, superior to 
those which have generally been provided, were erected at the 
landowner's expense for their use. With respect to the kind of 
housing required, the Asiatics have competed with others for 
the possession of land on the basis of a lower standard. It has 
been an important factor in explaining the advance of the 
Japanese as tenant farmers. 

The Japanese, like the Chinese before them and now, have 
been willing to pay higher rents than others for land such 
high rents in fact that the owner has frequently found it more 
profitable to lease his land than to farm it on his own account. 
That the Japanese and Chinese can afford to pay a relatively 
high rent is explained in part by the fact that their efficiency 
and the kinds of crops grown by them will bear it ; in part by 
the fact that they have a different standard of application; 
and in part by the fact that the income in prospect from farming 
need not be so large as that expected by most other farmers. 

The Asiatic farmer expects to work hard and for long hours ; 
the Japanese is usually assisted in garden or field by his wife, 
if he has one ; the opportunities for employment other than as an 
unskilled laborer have been limited, and as a result of careful 
and efficient growing of intensive crops his return per acre is 
ordinarily a large one. But whatever the reason or reasons, the 
most nearly universal fact in the West has been that the Asiatics, 
with the possible exception of German Russians in Colorado, 
have been the highest bidders for land. This fact is undisputed. 
In some localities the sums paid have been ruinously large, so 
that an organized effort has now and then been made by the 
Japanese organizations to limit the amount paid. It is equally 
true that they have paid correspondingly high prices for the 
comparatively small amount of farm land purchased. 

Another factor of some importance in explaining the progress 
of Japanese as farmers is the ease with which they, like the 
Chinese and the Italians, form partnerships to carry on their en- 
terprises. Of still more importance has been the aid extended by 
commission men and others interested in the marketing of the 
crops. Liberal advances have been made on crops in order to 


control the marketing of them. Fruit shippers have frequently 
served as middlemen in the leasing of land, and here and there 
have leased land themselves and then sublet it to Asiatics in 
order to control the marketing of the crops. 

And, finally, one not unimportant fact entering into the situa- 
tion has been the reclamation and reduction of raw land by the 
Japanese tenants. Numerous instances are found in Washing- 
ton and Oregon and along the Sacramento River here in Cali- 
fornia. It should be stated, however, that, for the most part, 
the lands acquired by the tenants have been those improved 
by others, though when acquired they were perhaps devoted to 
a more intensive purpose. 

Thus, numerous factors have cooperated to explain the rapid 
progress of farming by the Japanese. In passing, some of the 
community effects should be noted, for they are of importance. 

Japanese farming has been accompanied by a tendency 
toward a rise in land values and the keeping of large holdings 
intact as profitable investments. It has placed a slight premium 
on absentee-landlordism, and, though it is not true that the earlier 
elements in the farming population have been driven out of any 
community in California, and though it is true that Americans 
have continued to move into localities where the largest per- 
centage of Asiatics were settled, it has tended to deflect the tide 
of settlers moving west to other localities. Moreover, in a few 
cases the acreage of certain crops has been greatly increased by 
the Japanese farmers until prices have broken and others have 
tended to withdraw from their production. 

In this way the thesis is maintained that with a large immi- 
gration of Japanese laborers, a land problem would develop. 
The comparatively small influx of earlier years has in fact resulted 
in one third of the land about Florin, one half of the orchards 
in the Vaca valley, a still larger percentage of the orchards about 
Newcastle, and most of the farms above Sacramento along the 
American River coming into their hands and important commu- 
nity effects have been witnessed. The situation in several other 
localities differs from that in those mentioned only in degree. 

The progress of the Japanese as shopkeepers has also been 
rapid, especially since 1904. By 1909 they were conducting some 
four thousand business establishments in the West, these giving 


employment to approximately one sixth of those gainfully 
occupied. At present, perhaps one fifth of the Japanese in the 
West are so engaged, as principals or as their employees. 

As branches of business, contracting and the supply house 
came early, of course. So did the boarding house, the barber 
shop, the restaurant, and the places of amusement, for the mem- 
bers of this race were usually discriminated against by others 
and it was necessary for them to supply their own needs. But 
sooner or later they began in some places to compete with gro- 
ceries, restaurants, clothes cleaning and tailor shops, and the 
like, for so-called American trade, and the competition was 
usually on unequal planes. With lower wages bills incurred 
in the conduct of their shops and with a lower standard of neces- 
sary profit, considerable cutting of prices accompanied the 
progress made by them. Their laundry prices were effectively 
lower than those charged by their competitors, and this was 
equally true in most of the competitive trades. Moreover, the 
shifting of population incidental to the settlement of newcomers 
in restricted localities was in some cases even more important 
than the cutting of prices. The formation of colonies thus added 
its weight to the underselling with the result that though the 
number of their establishments was relatively not large and most 
of their shops quite small, established businesses and profits of 
rivals suffered in some cases. When such was the result, it was 
regarded as an evil by those injuriously affected, and opposition, 
in some cases organized opposition employing fines and boycotts 
and other methods of defense which appear drastic to the out- 
sider, developed at new points. 

Thus, especially before immigration was greatly restricted 
in 1907, competition in unskilled labor, in some branches of 
petty business, and in certain branches of farming for which 
many localities in the West are peculiarly well suited, has taken 
place in unequal terms. There has been a conflict of standards. 
While the labor has been helpful in developing the country be- 
cause cheap, efficient, and easily secured; while it has been a 
great convenience in other cases, as in domestic service ; and while 
profitable branches of agriculture have been caused to grow 
rapidly, the disturbing effects of even such a small immigration 
as has given us a total population of Japanese, old and young, 


of less than a hundred thousand, must be regarded as outweigh- 
ing the good. The immigration of large numbers to settle on the 
Pacific Coast and to compete on unequal terms because of differ- 
ences in standards must be regarded as undesirable from an eco- 
nomic point of view, unless one holds as no one can successfully 
maintain that the economic welfare of the country depends 
more upon the most rapid industrial progress, exploitation of 
resources, and amassing of wealth than upon an improvement in 
the lot of those at or near the bottom of the economic scale, with 
relatively low land values, and the settlement of land along 
lines more nearly normal according to the American standard. 

The fundamental economic problem is to be emphasized. 
Yet the problem has not been merely an economic one. Because 
of clannishness on the part of the Japanese and the tendency of 
others to limit their relations with them to business affairs, col- 
onies have tended to develop and the newcomers to be encysted 
in rather than be assimilated to the population. In spite of 
considerable capacity on the part of the Japanese for assimila- 
tion, it has not been taking place in desired degree, partly because 
of the strong appeal made by native institutions to a people 
living in colonies, partly because of the failure or refusal of 
others to do their share in a process which requires the coopera- 
tion of the several elements in the population. In the speaker's 
opinion a difficult problem in connection with assimilation has 
developed. Even with limited numbers the situation is such that 
assimilation of those here is now unlikely to occur in desired 
degree. With large numbers it would not take place. 

Naturally, considerable friction has developed, chiefly because 
of differences in economic standards, and though immigration 
has undoubtedly caused an expansion of commerce between the 
two countries, trade relations at one time were seriously im- 
periled. All of these things, the increase of dissatisfaction due 
to misunderstanding, misrepresentation, and organized agitation, 
the obvious difference in color, and the extreme solicitude of the 
Japanese government for the welfare of its subjects and its 
treatment of them as pseudo-colonists, have tended to produce 
a new race problem. Had matters continued for some years 
longer as they were ten years ago, such a problem would inevi- 
tably have resulted. 


Thus it is maintained that there cannot be a free flow of 
laborers from Japan to the western part of the United States. 
But, happily, for seven years, with the gentlemen's agreement 
faithfully observed by the Japanese government and with the 
prohibition of re-migration from Hawaii, Mexico, and Canada, 
we have had and now have no immigration problem in so far 
as incoming Japanese laborers are concerned. The statement 
is true that "with unswerving constancy and fidelity the Japanese 
government has maintained the gentlemen's agreement by 
which it undertook to suppress the immigration of laborers to 
the United States." It has done more. By regulating immigra- 
tion to neighboring countries, the difficult border problem has 
ceased to be of importance. There can be no reasonable doubt 
that we have in the agreement the most effective exclusion 
arrangement, and the United States owes a debt of gratitude to 
the Japanese government for its cooperation in effecting it. The 
number of Japanese laborers in the country is slowly diminish- 
ing, and the problems involved in the earlier situation are grad- 
ually settling themselves. Of underbidding in the labor market 
there is now practically none ; the conflict of standards in petty 
business has become largely a matter of the past ; and no serious 
or extensive problem connected with the land can develop. 
The feeling of opposition is less intense than it was. Neverthe- 
less there are unsettled problems. They should be settled and 
the policy of drifting along with some harassing legislation 
should not be permitted to continue if we can agree upon the 
direction positive efforts should take. 

With no particular immigration to complicate the situation, 
what are these unsettled problems to which consideration should 
be given ? One is found in- the gentlemen's agreement as a method 
of control; others are found in connection with the treatment 
of immigrants who are here or who may be admitted. These 
two questions or groups of questions may be considered in turn. 

Though the gentlemen's agreement and the President's order 
relating to the indirect immigration which accompanied it have 
served well as a method of restriction, the agreement has come 
in for considerable adverse criticism. Approaching the matter 
from different angles different groups have advocated new immi- 
gration legislation to replace it. First of all, a vigorous agitation 


for an exclusion law applying to all Asiatics has been carried on 
for years. It antedated the adoption of the agreement and has 
not died away since it became effective. Much of its force is 
found in the widespread but erroneous belief that the agreement 
is not effective as a restrictive measure, in the fear that it might 
cease to be effective, and in the feeling that the right to control 
immigration to the country is a sovereign right which should 
be exercised, not compromised, by treaty or agreement. In the 
least offensive form this demand would find expression in a 
general immigration law which would admit only those who 
are eligible to become citizens by naturalization. Admission 
and the possibility of becoming citizens should go hand in hand, 
but exclusion in this way raises the additional question as to 
the soundness of the discrimination now involved in our naturali- 
zation law about which something will be said presently. But, 
in so far as Japanese immigration is concerned, it seems to me 
that there is at present no problem to be solved by exclusion 
legislation, whatever form it might take. An exclusion law 
modeled after the Chinese exclusion act would be illogical when 
the existing agreement is more effective than any law of that 
character would be. It could solve no problem and it is illogical 
to enact any law unless there is a problem to be solved by so 
doing. The Japanese government has on more than one occasion 
expressed its willingness to continue the present agreement, and 
it would be unjust to enact an exclusion law so long as she is 
willing and capable of limiting the issuance of passports to would- 
be immigrants. Moreover, to enact such a law as long as the 
Japanese government faithfully observes the agreement entered 
into in 1907 would be too serious an affront to a people jealous 
of its honor and determined to command the treatment due a 
first-class nation. To enact an exclusion law of any kind would 
be illogical, unjust, and an affront to Japan. 

On the other hand, some would remove the restriction which 
now obtains. In Japan there seems to be some restiveness 
under the agreement and a limited amount of feeling that it 
was a temporary measure to tide over an emergency and that it 
has accomplished its object. A smaller number of persons on 
this side, interested in cheap labor, would be glad to see the bars 
let down. But to grant an unrestricted immigration under our 


present immigration law in order to meet the wishes of a minority 
in Japan and a small number in this country who wish cheap 
labor would be unwise for reasons already set forth. It would 
be out of harmony with the forward movement to which we are 
devoting so much effort. If the agreement is to be replaced by 
law at all, it should be replaced by a new immigration law of 
the general nature of the measure advocated so brilliantly by 
Dr. Gulick. 

Dr. Gulick's plan is best stated by himself. But, briefly put, 
his suggestion is that the number of independent immigrants 
admitted from any country, or of any race or mother tongue, 
in any one year should be limited to, say, 5 per cent of the 
number of immigrants from that country already here and nat- 
uralized and the American-born offspring of the same stock. 
A system of registration would be worked out for the adminis- 
tration of the plan. All who secured admission unlawfully or 
who were not law-abiding would be deported. 

The general effect of a measure shaped in this way would be 
to bring the control of all immigration under one law and to get 
rid of the Chinese exclusion act with its invidious distinctions, 
the strained and unsatisfactory interpretation of the present 
law in dealing with the East Indians, and perhaps to end the 
movement to enact an exclusion law applying to the Japanese. 
It would not limit immigration from the northwestern European 
countries unless under new conditions it should tend to expand 
much beyond its dimensions in recent years ; it would materially 
limit the more or less induced immigration of recent years from 
southern and eastern Europe, and would not materially affect, 
for the time being, the number of Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, 
and East Indians coming directly to our shores. 

Were Dr. Gulick's plan applied to the figures given in the 
census of 1910, it would admit annually into the United States, 
including Hawaii, to begin with, a maximum, the excepted classes 
of wives, children, etc., not counted, of some 1200 or 1300 
Japanese and about noo or 1200 Chinese immigrants. These 
figures, it would appear, are somewhat larger than of the corre- 
sponding classes admitted in recent years but the difference to 
begin with would not be material. With time the basic number 
to which his 5 per cent would be applied would increase because 


of a considerable number of Japanese who would become nat- 
uralized if given the opportunity his plan calls for, and because 
of the few thousand born annually in this country. Thus the 
plan would make possible a cumulative immigration. 

It was partly because of these cumulative figures, partly 
because of the administrative difficulties connected with a census 
the results of which were to be employed in this way, and partly 
because of the inducement held out to seek naturalization so as 
to increase the numbers which might be admitted, that I have 
elsewhere suggested a modification which in its essence would 
admit definite numbers arrived at in Dr. Gulick's manner, these 
numbers being based upon the census returns of 1910, but obtain- 
ing indefinitely unless waived by order properly issued in any 
case where the motive for emigration was found in political or 
religious persecution. 

Thus, as has already been stated, under this plan the issues 
involved in the trans-Atlantic and the trans-Pacific immigrations 
would be joined, and reasonably so, for there has been a problem 
of large numbers in the so-called "newer immigration." What 
the situation will be after the present war is not clear ; we can 
only guess, but there is the possibility of large numbers once the 
work of reconstruction has been completed and the weight of 
the inevitable tax burden is felt. The best students of the sub- 
ject of immigration those who can look beyond things merely 
personal to things in their collectivity, are generally agreed that 
radical restriction has been needed. They agree with the recent 
Immigration Commission that we have had "an oversupply of 
unskilled labor in the industries of the country as a whole, and 
a condition of retarded improvement with some deterioration 
of labor conditions which demanded legislation restricting the 
further admission of unskilled labor." They are generally 
agreed, moreover, that this problem is closely connected with 
the fact that more than four fifths of the European immigration 
has recently been from the southern and eastern countries, which 
have the lowest standards, and the immigrants from which are 
most congested in their occupations and residence as compared 
to the distribution of the native-born. All agree that in the case 
of the "newer immigration" there are greater differences in 
institutions and customs than in the case of immigrants from 


northwestern Europe to be overcome in the process of assimila- 
tion. Most students are agreed that the south and east Euro- 
peans taken as a whole are less sensitive than the northwest 
Europeans to the American environment, and that a situation 
has developed in the industrial centers of the East in which 
assimilation has proceeded in halting and uncertain fashion and 
out of which numerous problems of local government, adminis- 
tration, and institutions have developed. Some argue that a 
wider distribution is all that would have been required, but it 
is probably true that it would have served to lower temporarily 
the content of the labor reservoir and then to increase the inflow 
from abroad. If so, high birth rates would continue the inflow 
indefinitely. A problem of dependency was developing out of 
the influx, and a proper use of the data available shows that 
some prominent elements in the immigration from the southern 
countries complicate and make more difficult the problem of 
maintaining law and order. Before the war our biggest problem 
was found in the trans-Atlantic immigration. Would it not be 
well to safeguard ourselves against its possible return? 

It was stated a while ago that under the plan suggested there 
would be no material change in the trans-Pacific immigration. 
This was based upon the assumption, however, that the present 
effective bar against re-migration of Asiatics from Hawaii to 
the mainland would be retained or a desirable substitute found 
for it. Without such a bar an influx like that of ten years ago 
would take place because of the inferior conditions which are 
found in the Islands. It would result in an acute labor problem 
in the Islands and an undesirable situation here. I should not 
advocate any plan which would involve a re-migration from 
Honolulu to the mainland. 

Legislation along the lines suggested, supported by effective 
restrictions upon re-migration. of the kind mentioned, while leav- 
ing the numbers admitted not materially different from those 
during the last few years, would relieve the Japanese government 
of the embarrassment of the agreement in a way forced upon 
it and the criticism of those of its subjects who maintain that 
it was adopted only to save Japan's face and was expected 
to be temporary. Moreover, it would safeguard the situation 
in the event that the position of the government should be 


changed by growing democracy. It would meet the position of 
our own people who maintain that the right to control immigra- 
tion is a sovereign right and that this should be exercised, not 
compromised. But most important of all, it would disabuse 
many of our people of the erroneous impression that many labor- 
ers are actually being admitted, or, in the absence of strong 
opposition displayed, would be admitted, to the United States, 
and would go far to prevent discrimination by law and otherwise. 
My investigations have convinced me that there is a widespread 
feeling that many in some way or other are admitted. Others 
feel that in the absence of organized opposition, the agreement 
would not be effectively administered. 

Much of the opposed legislation has not been directed at seri- 
ous problems but has appealed because anti-Asiatic and because 
it was felt to be necessary in order to prevent an influx of new 
immigrants. A measure of the kind suggested should go far to 
relieve the situation in so far as connected with mistaken views 
of what is actually occurring and with the apprehension of what 
might take place. Moreover, it would not stand in the way of 
literacy or other selective tests if they should be desired. 

Thus, it is maintained that restriction of immigration in gen- 
eral is needed. If proper provision is made for those persecuted, 
the restrictions imposed should discriminate in their effects 
but not in terms against the races of South and East Europe. 
They should discriminate in their effects, but not expressly, 
still more against immigrant laborers from Asia, who without 
restriction are the cheapest and frequently the best organized 
and have the most injurious effects in competition, who institu- 
tionally and in thought and in mode of life have more to be 
overcome in assimilation, who are handicapped by an obvious 
difference in color, and who, moreover, find a natural stopping- 
place on the Pacific Coast, so that the effects of their immi- 
gration would be concentrated upon a limited territory. The 
plan suggested is believed to have merit in that it is restrictive, 
is general and non-discriminatory in form, would discriminate 
only reasonably in its effects, would correct false impressions 
with reference to Japanese immigration, and would not stand 
in the way of such individual selective tests as might be consid- 
ered desirable. 


Coining to unsettled problems relative to the treatment of 
Japanese residing in the United States, one of the most serious 
is found in the political disability under which they labor. At 
present Japanese, Chinese, and other eastern Asiatic subjects, 
because neither white nor black, are ineligible to become Ameri- 
can citizens by process of naturalization. Some of the western 
Asiatics stand in the shadow of doubt. Though the disability 
under which all save the Chinese rest, is not the result of dis- 
criminatory legislation directed against them, but merely inci- 
dental under a law given shape many years ago and interpreted 
by the courts, the invidious distinction between races has come 
to be regarded by the Japanese as " hurtful to their just national 
susceptibility," and the reasonableness of the law was officially 
raised in the long-drawn-out correspondence over the Cali- 
fornia land law. Certainly the political disability has opened the 
way for discriminatory legislation of the kind just mentioned. 
Moreover, the Japanese feel that it is unjust to withhold from 
them rights which foreigners may enjoy in Japan and which the 
Japanese themselves have in Canada. They naturally desire 
equal treatment under the law. 

As a matter of principle, all aliens admitted to this country, 
regardless of race, should be admitted to a full partnership in 
our institutions as soon as they as individuals are properly pre- 
pared to exercise their rights and are willing to accept the 
responsibilities which must go hand in hand with rights. 
The reasons assigned by those who oppose an amendment 
of the naturalization law so as to permit the Japanese 
admitted to become citizens do not seem to me to be suffi- 
cient to support their case. It must be admitted of course 
that the Japanese have much of medieval loyalty to their 
native government. Rapid strides in economic matters have 
not as yet greatly affected the concept of the state held 
by those who have not emigrated. Yet it is undoubtedly 
true that most of those who have decided to settle here per- 
manently have had their mode of thought considerably 
changed, and it is probably true that those who sought the 
privilege of citizenship would accept its responsibilities in 
pretty much the same degree as they have been accepted by 
some of our European-Americans who have immigrated from 


countries where the attitude toward the state is not materially 
different from that in Japan. 

Of course a Japanese vote might develop, but, if it did, it 
would not be unique in our political history. In any event the 
number of votes would be small. This might not be true in 
Hawaii, however, where the Japanese and Chinese constitute 
a majority of the population. But this raises the question as 
to the terms on which citizenship should be conferred. Under 
a proper naturalization law only a comparatively small percent- 
age of the aliens residing there could become naturalized. 

In advocating an amendment of the naturalization law so 
that it shall not discriminate against any race, I would not advo- 
cate a mere extension of the present law. Though the abuses 
under it are not so great as they once were, in many places its 
administration is little short of a farce. We cannot be said to 
have in operation any well-defined requirements always and 
everywhere to be met by those who seek citizenship. We hold 
citizenship too cheap and pay dearly for it. The law should 
be administered by specialized naturalization courts, and citizen- 
ship should be conferred only upon those who can read and 
write English understandingly, who know the structure of and 
principles underlying our government, and who have an accept- 
able knowledge of our history. But the law should be changed 
so as to make all who possess these qualifications eligible, and 
provision should' be made to enable immigrants of all races to 
meet the tests. 

Thus I would advocate a general naturalization law based 
upon individual merit and not at all upon the matter of race. 
Such a law would be based upon good principle, would remove 
all contested cases growing out of doubtful eligibility, would 
tend to prevent discriminatory legislation, and would undoubt- 
edly do more just now than anything else to further harmonious 
relations with the people across the Pacific which unites as well 
as divides us. At the same time it may be observed that the 
time will soon come when the number of native-born Japanese 
citizens will be as large as the number who could qualify for 
citizenship granted on proper terms. Their attitude as citizens 
will depend to a considerable extent upon the rights enjoyed by 
their fathers. The objections to such a law, extending rights 


enjoyed by whites and blacks to races of a different color, can be 
easily exaggerated especially if it is adopted along with a 
general restrictive immigration law. That they may easily 
be exaggerated is indicated by the fact that while we have for- 
bidden the naturalization of Chinese in this country, those who 
gained citizenship in Hawaii at an earlier time are generally 
regarded as a good class of conservative voters. 

With an amendment of the naturalization laws of the kind 
suggested, the California and Arizona land acts would cease to 
be effective for they merely place limitations upon those ineligible 
to citizenship. It is my opinion that they were mistakenly 
adopted and were unjust, impolitic, and unnecessary. Yet, 
I would not be understood to maintain that in California there 
was not a problem in some communities closely connected with 
permanent tenure of the land largely because of the settlement 
of Japanese in colonies. Nor do I wish to be understood as 
maintaining that were the prohibition of land ownership rendered 
ineffective, no local problems would develop. There is a problem 
connected with an extensive colonization and a partial assimi- 
lation which must be solved if confusion and discord are to be 
avoided and right relations maintained. 

Representing a very different civilization, clannish in unusual 
degree, seeking much the same thing, and discriminated against 
and more or less avoided by most of the other elements in the 
population, of course the majority of the Japanese have settled 
in restricted localities and are more or less colonized. Colonies 
have their advantages in meeting the needs of a people in so far 
as they remain foreign. But unfortunately the very existence 
of the colony makes assimilation difficult, tends to give its mem- 
bers inferior standing, and to cause the locality to be less desir- 
able for residence by others. With the colony the full comple- 
ment of Japanese institutions appears, association is chiefly 
with members of the one race, the learning English is retarded, 
and the native bonds loosen slowly in spite of the fact that the 
Japanese are very sensitive to certain parts of their environment. 
In the absence of colonies, Americanization appears to proceed 
fairly rapidly, and no important community effects are to be 
noted. Livingston affords a case in point. In that community 
there has been no conflict of standards and no important 


colonization and the situation is normal according to American 
standards. Though the white residents may state that they would 
prefer families of their own color, the Japanese are well received 
and have good standing in the community. But unfortunately 
there seems to be no way in which the colony can be attacked 
directly. Time and more rapid assimilation must undermine 
it if it is to disappear. 

As has already been stated, with any large immigration it is 
believed that assimilation of the Japanese would not take place. 
The problem would be complicated, as it has been in the past, 
by friction and discrimination. With a narrowly restricted 
immigration, however, friction over the clash of economic stand- 
ards has tended to diminish and eventually discrimination will 
perhaps disappear. Certainly much should be said for an edu- 
cational campaign to remove misunderstanding so that its dis- 
appearance will be hastened. 

Of course the Japanese are being assimilated. Those who 
return to Japan after some years spent in the United States, 
find the situation difficult if not intolerable and frequently return 
here to reside permanently. Yet the problem of assimilation is 
present, and in interest of present and future relations it should 
be attacked vigorously. It calls for much more effort than has 
been as yet put forth. Though the Japanese themselves have 
done more than any other race to provide facilities for teaching 
the English language, more extensive facilities should be pro- 
vided as a part of an internal immigration policy. There should 
be cooperation between the school authorities and the Japanese 
association of each locality, and night schools should be provided 
for the adults. The Christian mission churches are doing much 
of value, but the provision for carrying forward their work is 
not adequate. Without passing judgment upon the relative 
merits of different religions for different peoples, it may be said 
that nothing save the use of a common language seems to be of 
more value than the spread of Christianity in the process of 
assimilation of the Japanese. Its importance has appealed to 
me more and more as I have watched the changes going on in 
different communities. It is not too much to say that here at 
home we have the best opportunity to support needed mission- 
ary work, to be done of course along the lines upon which that 


best done proceeds. After the process of assimilation has taken 
place to a certain extent, the native-born element will do much 
to hasten it if it is not prevented by discrimination from occupying 
the normal place it will wish, provided the older elements do not 
prove to be too conservative, and in so far as they control the 
situation, bring them up as Japanese. 

With the clannishness natural to the Japanese, the respect 
for their elders, the differences representing diverse civilizations 
to be overcome, and the situation which obtains, considerable 
time will be required to make much headway even with small 
numbers. The progress made will depend largely upon the degree 
of cooperation between the diverse elements in the community. 
The question should be raised whether the organizations of the 
Japanese should not be less official in their aspects, less shaped 
as though the country was to be colonized and exploited for 
gain, and be conducted more than they generally are with refer- 
ence to securing the adoption of American standards. The ques- 
tion should be raised, also, whether something cannot be done to 
secure a more general observance of Sunday, and to give women 
the place in the family and the family life we expect in the United 
States. However much it may be needed, the general practice 
of having the women gainfully occupied in men's work in the 
field, cannot but alienate the native element and give the Japan- 
ese lower standing in the communities in which they reside. 
When a people is admitted to the country, their presence imposes 
obligations upon the native population. We have been neglectful 
in this matter. But when admission is secured, it imposes an 
obligation upon the newcomers to give heed to the normal 
standards of the country to which they have been admitted. 
Both the Asiatic and trfe white races are on trial in the West. 
The final outcome is important. Will the white races, when their 
institutions are safeguarded by a narrowly restricted immigration, 
give necessary opportunity and cooperation and avoid evils and 
friction ? Will those admitted retain their clannishness and seek 
chiefly to make gain rather than strive to become Americans? 




THOUGH a few thousand Armenians are found in the West, 
most of them in Fresno County, California, and perhaps 
a thousand Syrians in Los Angeles, most of the Asiatic immi- 
gration has been from eastern Asia China, Japan, Korea, 
and India. For reasons already given elsewhere, no special 
investigation was made of the Chinese. Such data as were 
obtained were secured incidentally to the investigation of other 
races and of industries in which Chinese are or have been em- 
ployed. A few points concerning their number, occupations, 
and related matters may be commented on briefly, however, 
chiefly for convenience in discussing Japanese immigration, 
upon which most emphasis was placed in the investigation made 
in the Western division. 

According to the census, the number of Chinese in the con- 
tinental United States in 1900 was 93,283. Of these, 88,758 
were males and 4525 were females. In all probability the number 
of adult males was somewhat larger than the figure reported, as 
it is almost impossible to enumerate all but a negligible percentage 
of the foreign-born males living under such conditions as were 
at that time found among the Chinese. It is impossible to esti- 
mate the number of persons of that race now in the United States, 
as many have died or returned to China since 1900, while others 
have returned from China to this country, and men, women, 
and children of the eligible classes to the number of 19,182 have 
been admitted to the United States between July i, 1899, and 
June 30, 1909. Moreover, it is acknowledged by those familiar 
with the administration of the law that some foreign-born have 
secured admission as " native sons," while others have been 
smuggled across the Canadian or the Mexican boundary. How- 
ever, it has become evident from the investigation conducted 



by the Commission that of the number of Chinese in all of the 
cities of the West, many are occupied in growing potatoes and 
the coarser vegetables. Such interests are usually combined 
with general farming, however. 

The Portuguese are excellent farmers, and frequently, while 
improving their land, obtain two or three crops from the same 
field in the course of the year. In their thrift, investment of 
savings in more land, in the character of their housing and stand- 
ard of living, they are very much like the Italians. In some 
instances, however, their housing is of a distinctly better type. 
The one important difference between the two races, besides 
the kind of crops usually produced, is found in the fact that the 
Italians cooperate in leasing land, while the Portuguese are very 
individualistic and seldom rent or own land in partnership. 
Because of this circumstance and the fact that the members of 
this race, unlike the Asiatics and German-Russians, have not 
been induced to settle upon the land as a solution of the labor 
problem, the Portuguese, in spite of their perseverance in their 
efforts to establish themselves as independent farmers, have 
usually made slower progress in this direction than the Italians, 
Japanese, and German-Russians. 

Few of the other south European immigrants are engaged in 
agriculture. A few Greeks have become tenant farmers, but 
without much success. About Watsonville, California, a compar- 
atively large number of Dalmatians have engaged in apple 
growing, but this instance perhaps stands alone. In fact, immi- 
grants from the south European countries, and the east Euro- 
pean as well, Italians, and Portuguese excepted, have come to 
the West too recently to have established themselves. More- 
over, in most cases the number of transient laborers is large 
as compared to the number who have come to this country to 
make their permanent home. The principal exception to this 
is found in the German-Russians, an agricultural people, who 
have come to this country to escape heavy taxation and military 
service and in search of better land. Within some twenty years 
several thousand have come to Fresno County, California, where 
they have worked at unskilled labor to begin with, though a com- 
paratively large number have been able to establish themselves 
as farmers, which is the goal practically all have in view. The 


acreage controlled by them is roughly estimated at 5000. In 
Colorado there are perhaps between 800 and 900 .tenant and 
landowning farmers of this race, occupying for the greater part 
holdings in excess of 60 acres and not infrequently much larger 
tracts. This farming has developed within the last ten years 
and has been incidental to the growth of the beet-sugar industry. 
The sugar companies have brought large numbers of families 
of this race from Nebraska to do the hand work involved in grow- 
ing sugar beets. From laborers doing the hand work on a piece 
basis they have rapidly advanced to tenant and to landowning 
farmers. Their advance is in part to be ascribed to their great 
industry, the labor of all members of the family except the small- 
est children, to their very great thrift, to the liberal advances of 
capital made by the sugar companies, and the credit extended 
to them freely by the banks. 

Not even the Japanese have made as rapid advance as the 
German-Russians. A comparatively small number of German- 
Russians are engaged in tenant farming in one locality in Idaho 
also. They, too, were brought to the community (from Port- 
land) by the manufacturers of beet sugar, and settled upon the 
land. In their housing and the number engaged in the different 
industries in which they have found employment in the past, 
they have materially decreased within the last decade or so. It is 
unlikely that the migration from the Coast States, mainly from 
California to the East, and the more general distribution of Chi- 
nese throughout the country, explain entirely the decreasing 
number of persons of that race, including the native-born, found 
in the West. 

The immigration of Chinese laborers to this country may be 
said to date from the rush to California in search of gold sixty 
years ago. Within ten years a relatively large number of persons 
of that race, more than 45,000 in fact, found a place in the popu- 
lation of that State. Before the close of the decade of the sixties, 
they had engaged in a variety of occupations, as the absence of 
cheap labor from any other source, their industry and organiza- 
tion, and the rapid growth of the country placed a premium 
upon their employment. The largest number (some 20,000 in 
1861) engaged in gold mining; several thousand, many of them 
imported under contract, were employed toward the end of the 


decade in the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad, 
which was to form the first of the transcontinental railways 
making possible an influx of laborers from the East. Other 
Chinese engaged in gardening, laundering, domestic service, 
and hand labor in the fields, while still others found employment 
in factories and workshops or engaged in business for themselves. 
As domestic servants in San Francisco, in 1870, they numbered 
1256 out of a total of 6800, their number being exceeded by 
that of the Irish only, of whom 3046 were reported. Chinese 
laundrymen numbered 1333 in a total of 2069 reported. As 
laborers in domestic and personal service they numbered 2128 
in a total of 8457. According to the census for 1870, they num- 
bered 296 of 1551 persons employed in San Francisco in the 
manufacture of boots and shoes, 1657 f the 1811 employed in 
the manufacture of cigars, 253 of 393 employed in the manufac- 
ture of woolens, and no of 1223 employed in the manufacture 
of clothing, a total of 2316 of a grand total of 4978 employed 
in these four industries. These were the chief branches of manu- 
facture in cities in which they found employment. With the 
development of salmon canning in Oregon and Washington dur- 
ing the eighties and still later with the development of the same 
industry in Alaska, they were for many years employed almost 
exclusively in canning, under contract, the fish caught by white 
fishermen. They also constituted a large percentage, when not 
a majority, of the "powder makers" and general laborers em- 
ployed in powder factories. 

For twenty years, beginning in the late sixties, several thousand 
found employment as construction laborers upon the new rail- 
ways constructed from time to time and as section hands upon 
those already constructed. They also found employment as 
general laborers, engine wipers and boiler washers, and in other 
occupations calling for little skill in railroad shops. Or still 
previous to 1870, as hand laborers in the orchards, fields, hop- 
yards, and vineyards of California north of the Tehachapi, and 
in the canneries and other establishments incidental to conserving 
and marketing the crops produced. In 1870 they numbered 
1637 in a total of 16,231 farm laborers reported by the census 
for California. Though the estimate made by the California 
bureau of labor in 1886, that Chinese constituted seven eighths 


of the agricultural laborers of the State, was doubtless a great 
exaggeration, they did most of the hand work, such as hoeing, 
weeding, pruning, and harvesting, in all localities in the central 
and northern part of the State in which intensive farming was 
carried on. Their presence and organization at a time when 
cheap and reliable white laborers were difficult to obtain made 
possible the high degree of specialized farming which came to 
prevail in several localities. They occupied a much less conspicu- 
ous place in the harvest work involved in general farming. Being 
inefficient with teams, and white men being available for such 
work in most localities, they were practically limited to hand 
work. In other States than California they found little place 
in agricultural work, the largest number being employed in the 
hop industry of the Northwest. In fact, until the eighties few 
of the Chinese resided outside of California. This race never 
gained a place in coal mining except in Wyoming, where they 
were employed in the mines developed after the completion of 
the Union Pacific Railway. 

The ease with which the Chinese found employment and the 
place they came to occupy in the. West is explained by several 
facts. First of all, they were the cheapest laborers available 
for unskilled work. The white population previous to the eighties 
was drawn almost entirely from the eastern States and from 
north European countries, and, as in all rapidly developing com- 
munities, the number of women and children was comparatively 
small. According to the census of 1870, of 238,648 persons en- 
gaged in gainful occupations in California, 46 per cent were 
native-born, 13 per cent were born in Ireland, 8 per cent in Ger- 
many, 4.8 per cent in England and Wales, 2 per cent in France, 
and 1.4 per cent in Italy. The Chinese, with 14 per cent of the 
total, were more numerous than the Irish. The Chinese worked 
for lower wages than the white men in the fields and orchards, 
in the shoe factories, the cigar factories, the woolen mills, and 
later in most of the other industries in which the two classes 
were represented. As a result of this, a division of labor grew 
up in which the Chinese were very generally employed in certain 
occupations, while white persons were employed in other occu- 
pations requiring skill, a knowledge of English, and other quali- 
ties not possessed by the Asiatics, and sufficiently agreeable 


in character and surroundings to attract white persons of the 
type at that time found in the population of the West. Upon 
occasion, too, the lower cost of production with Chinese labor 
caused more of the work to fall into their hands as they became 
well enough trained to do it. Instances of this are found in the 
manufacture of cigars and shoes in San Francisco. 

Chinese labor was well organized and readily available; for 
the cigar makers, shoemakers, and tailors, as well as the launder- 
ers, were organized into trade guilds with an interpreter and 
agent or " bookman" in each white establishment in which they 
were employed. Agricultural laborers were secured through a 
"boss" and employed under his supervision. The same organi- 
zation was found in fish canneries, where the work was done 
under contract at so much per case, also in the fruit and vegetable 
canneries in fact in all industries in which more than a few 
men were employed. The hiring and supervision of men in this 
way was convenient and of great advantage to the employer 
in such industries as were seasonal in character. In agriculture, 
where several times as many men were wanted for a limited 
period as during the remainder of the year, this organization of 
labor placed a great premium upon the Chinese as employees. 

In the manufacture of cigars, some manufacturers state that 
Chinese were found to be much slower than women and youths, 
while in the manufacture of boots and shoes they never attained 
to highly skilled work. In other industries, however, they were 
very generally regarded as efficient workers for all kinds of hand 
work. This is especially true of fish, fruit, and vegetable canning 
and of all kinds of hand work in orchards and vegetable gardens. 
Though unprogressive and slow, they accomplished much work 
through industry and long hours, and by the exercise of care the 
quality of the work performed was of a high order. 

Finally, to mention only the more important of the facts 
giving rise to an effective preference for Chinese for such work 
as they were employed to do, in canneries, on the ranches, and 
in other places where the employees ordinarily could not live 
at home, they found favor because they involved the least trouble 
and expense. They provided their own subsistence where white 
men, if they did not live close at hand, would ordinarily be pro- 
vided with board. Lodgings were easily provided for the Chinese, 


for whatever may be said concerning their standard of living 
as a whole, they are gregarious and are less dissatisfied when 
" bunked" in small quarters than is any other race thus far 
employed in the West. 

After much ineffective state and local legislation in California 
the further immigration of Chinese of the laboring class was 
forbidden by the first of the federal exclusion laws, enacted in 
1882. There had been opposition to the Chinese in the mining 
camps of California as early as 1852, this finally leading to the 
miners' license tax collected from them alone, in the cigar trade 
in San Francisco as early as 1862, and in other trades in which 
the Chinese were engaged beginning somewhat later. For the 
opposition many reasons were assigned, but the most important 
appears to have been race antipathy based upon color, language, 
and race traits, which has frequently found expression where 
numerous Chinese and white men of the laboring classes have 
been brought into close contact. This feeling found expression 
not only in San Francisco on numerous occasions, but in many 
other towns in California, in Tacoma, where Chinese have not 
been permitted to reside, and in the riots at Rock Springs, 
Wyoming, in 1882. In public discussion many reasons were 
advanced rightly or wrongly for excluding the Chinese, but that 
the opposition was more than a part of a labor movement is 
evidenced by the fact that many ranchers who were employing 
Chinese at the time voted " against Chinese immigration" at 
the election held in California in 1879, at which time the matter 
of Chinese exclusion was submitted to popular vote. 

It has been estimated that the number of Chinese in the 
United States at the time the first exclusion act went into effect 
(1882) was 132,300. The number of Chinese laborers did not 
diminish perceptibly for several years after this. More recently, 
because of the wider distribution of the Chinese among the States, 
the decreasing number in the country, the large percentage who 
have grown old, a strong sentiment against employing Asiatics 
in manufacture, and the appearance of the Japanese, a change 
has laken place in the occupations in which the Chinese engage. 

During the nineties, with the growth of the fishing industry 
.on the Pacific coast, the number of Chinese engaged in cannery 
work has grown ; but owing to the increasing difficulty involved 


in securing them and the higher wages which they have come to 
command since 1900, an increasing number of Japanese and, 
very recently, Filipinos, have been employed. 

During the year 1909 some 3000 Chinese were employed in 
canneries in Oregon, Washington, and Alaska, most of them 
migrating from San Francisco and Portland. The number of 
Japanese employed was approximately the same. Both races 
are employed in the great majority of the establishments, a 
Chinese ordinarily having the contract for the work done, em- 
ploying his countrymen for the more skilled work, and Japanese, 
under a Japanese "boss," and other persons for the less skilled 
occupations. The Chinese command much higher wages than 
the Japanese. In fruit and vegetable canning in California per- 
haps 1000 or more Chinese are employed. Of 750 men employed 
in six asparagus canneries on the Sacramento River, nearly 
all are Chinese secured through one Chinese "boss." Most of 
the others are employed in two canneries operated by Chinese 
companies. In other canneries European immigrants of the 
newer type, chiefly Italians, Greeks, and Portuguese, have been 
substituted for them. In some instances where Chinese were 
formerly employed but were discharged by their employers 
because of the feeling against the race or because of public criti- 
cism, Asiatics are not now employed. 

Few Chinese are now employed in railway work. As section 
hands they had all but disappeared ten years or more ago, and 
the number still employed in railway shops is small. As they grew 
old and their numbers diminished so that they could not furnish 
a large percentage of the laborers required, their departure was 
hastened by the well-organized Japanese, who took employment 
at the same wages (and less than was paid to other races) , though 
the Chinese are almost universally regarded as better "help" 
than the Japanese except in such occupations about the shops 
as require adaptability and progressiveness. The Chinese were 
in part replaced by other races before Japanese became avail- 
able, and where this was done it was generally at a higher wage, 
except in the case of the Mexicans, than the Chinese had received. 

The Chinese engaged in agriculture were very largely replaced 
by Japanese. The Chinese engaged in the growing of sugar beets 
were underbid and displaced by the more progressive and quicker 


Japanese and have all but absolutely disappeared from the 
industry. In the hop industry the Japanese underbid the Chinese 
as the Chinese had the white men. Because of this fact and the 
further fact that the Japanese had the same convenient organiza- 
tion and were more numerous, the Chinese have come to occupy 
a comparatively unimportant place in that industry. The same 
is true in the deciduous-fruit industry, though Chinese lease 
orchards and in almost every locality are employed in compara- 
tively large groups on some of the older ranches. The largest 
amount of land is leased by them and the largest number of them 
are employed for wages in the orchards and on the large tracts 
devoted to the production of vegetables on the Sacramento and 
San Joaquin rivers. In a few localities they migrate from place 
to place for seasonal work, but such instances have become 
exceptional. Nearly all work in the same place throughout the 
year. Moreover, as the Japanese have advanced the Chinese 
have leased fewer orchards and withdrawn to grow vegetables 
or have gone to the towns and cities. Though the number em- 
ployed in agricultural work is by no means small, they are no 
longer a dominant factor in the labor supply, and especially 
in that required for harvesting the crops. The place once occupied 
by them has for several years been occupied by the Japanese. 

The number of Chinese engaged in mining has for many years 
been small, some 40 in coal mining in Wyoming as against several 
hundred formerly employed there, and several hundred as against 
many thousand in gold mining in California. 

Many Chinese are living in the small towns of the West, en- 
gaged in laundry work, petty business, and gambling, or rather 
conducting places for gambling. The laundries are patronized 
chiefly by white people, the shops by Chinese, and the gambling 
places by Chinese and Japanese. In San Francisco they are 
much less conspicuously employed in domestic service and manu- 
facture than formerly. Most of those engaged in domestic serv- 
ice are high-priced cooks in private families and in saloons. 
They now have a scarcity value. The most recently published 
estimate made by the assessor for the city and county of San 
Francisco of the number of Chinese engaged in manufacture 
(in San Francisco) was, for 1903, 2420, the branches of manu- 
facture having more than 100 being cigar making, with 800 


Chinese in a total of 1300 ; clothing, with 250 in a total of 1050 ; 
shirt making, with 300 in a total of 1500, and shoemaking, with 
250 in a total of 950. Their numbers in all of these, cases are 
smaller than formerly. In shoe and cigar making many were 
discharged during the seventies and eighties because of public 
criticism or fear of boycott. When white persons were substi- 
tuted it was, in some cases at least, at a higher wage and for a 
shorter work day. At present the Chinese employed are among 
the low paid laborers in " white shops." The same is true of 
those employed in powder factories, where the number is much 
smaller than formerly. 

The assessment roll for 1908 shows 20 cigar factories, 3 broom 
factories, i shoe factory, and 5 overall factories conducted by 
Chinese in San Francisco. By far the largest number of Chinese, 
however, some 1000, are ejnployed in the 100 Chinese laundries. 
The other branches of business are of comparatively little impor- 
tance save the art and curio stores which are conducted by busi- 
ness men from China. Of the Chinese in other cities much the 
same may be said, except that they occupy no important place 
in manufacture and that they frequently conduct cheap restau- 
rants, patronized largely by workingmen. In Portland they also 
conduct numerous tailor shops. On the whole, the Chinese have 
not shown the same progressiveness and competitive ability 
either in industry or in business for themselves as the Japanese. 
They have, however, occupied a more important place in manu- 
facture, especially in San Francisco, where, until within the last 
twenty years, little cheap labor has been available from other 





LET me have the pleasure of raising the question at the outset 
as to what is the Chinese Exclusion Law. What is the es- 
sence of the spirit of it all? Is it born of justice or otherwise? 
I think if you will take the pains and trouble of finding it out for 
your own satisfaction and information, you will readily observe 
that the Exclusion Law is the outcome of a long series of unwise 
legislation hi one of the chapters of American history. 

To be sure, the trouble dated back to the time when the 
Chinese and their Occidental brothers first came in contact 
with one another in the days of '49 in the days of mad rush 
after gold in California, and railroad construction on the western 

Doubtless there were differences, strife, and contention among 
them in the placer mines, which would inevitably arise when 
people of divers tongues, manners, and customs come together 
for the first time. It was even difficult for the working people 
of the various European nations to get along well together in the 
earlier days of California, but we can easily imagine the greater 
differences existing between the Chinese and the white people 
whose religion and education have made them think and act 
entirely different from one another. In consequence, misun- 
derstanding and discord were bound to arise. The early politi- 
cal leaders and other agitators, instead of attempting to alleviate 
conditions, instilled in the people at large hatred and prejudice 
which I think you will agree with me were unwarranted and 

However, we must not forget that most of these Chinese 
laborers came here at that time, at the invitation of the United 

1 Printed by The American Sociological Society and the Committee of One 
Hundred, Federal Council of Churches in America, August, 1915. 



States. The right of so coming of the Chinese people was guar- 
anteed under solemn treaty between China and the United 
States, which treaty existed until 1880. The Chinese were then 
no longer desirable, and because of all these agitations and 
clamor of all the mischief-makers, the government of this coun- 
try had committed itself to an act which justice cannot defend. 
You know the United States solemnly agreed in said treaty that 
the coming of Chinese laborers may be suspended but never 
absolutely prohibited. But since that time the United States 
prohibited Chinese immigration and thus the government broke 
faith with China by passing a law in direct violation of said 
treaty, and the courts have aided in said violation by deciding 
that Congress had the right to pass such an act. 

The American Christian missionary in China from that time 
on found their good work seriously hindered. Thus you see 
that from time immemorial political leaders, demagogues, and 
agitators resorted to misrepresentation, falsehood, and vehemence 
to secure their political jobs and favors, and they did not dare 
say anything favorable to the Chinese. I need not labor much 
longer upon this point. Suffice it to indicate that all this agitation 
directed against the Chinese by political demagogues was respon- 
sible for the Exclusion Act. The act excluding the Chinese immi- 
gration was not tempered with justice or a square deal. The 
Exclusion Law to-day is nothing but the culmination of all the 
early agitators. The reason for excluding Chinese people is 
racial, not economic. As a noted lawyer of this c*oast once said : 
"We are afflicted with the malady of race hatred; and infected 
with this disease. Everything that the Oriental does is, to our 
sick vision, distorted into an offense which causes us to vomit 
forth at home our rancor and spleen." 

All we ask of the American Government is to give the Chinese 
fair treatment and not favor in the matter of exclusion, and give 
us the same treatment as is accorded to people of other nationali- 
ties. I wish I had time to enter into details regarding the differ- 
ences in which the people of other nations are treated. The 
Exclusion Law does not only exclude all Chinese laborers, or 
coolies as you call them, but it inflicts tremendous hardships 
upon the Chinese of the exempt classes ; that is, merchants, 
travelers, students, and teachers, and even officials at times. 


It seems that it is much easier for them to enter Heaven than 
to set foot on the American continent, even when they enter this 
port with the Consul's Certificate or other documents issued 
and signed by American diplomatic agents in China. 

The spirit of the Exclusion Law is to exclude the coolie class, 
but it was certainly not intended to hinder those who are above 
the coolie class when they are properly vouched for by the Ameri- 
can Consular or Immigration Agent in China. On presentation 
of the proper certificate they ought to be permitted to land with- 
out much ado. When the officials place all these obstacles in 
our way, can it be said that they are acting in a spirit of justice ? 
The Exclusion Law as it stands is a discrimination against a 
single nation, a legislation against a race of people, branding 
them as being totally unworthy of the privilege of travel, resi- 
dence, or citizenship in the United States. I frankly admit that 
there must be restriction for immigrants coming into this country, 
but the restriction ought to be applied to Oriental and Occi- 
dental people alike. There should be no unfair discrimination 
against a single nation, especially when that nation believes in 
peace and righteousness so firmly that it scorns to think that it 
has to be maintained or enforced by might. 

I sincerely hope to see the Exclusion Law altered to read, 
.Restriction Law. If you do that you will have done much in 
removing the only element of friction between the two most 
friendly republics on each side of the Pacific. Aside from her 
objection to the Exclusion Law, China has every reason to be 
thankful to the United States. Political leaders and wild agita- 
tors in this country have inflicted much harm upon the Chinese 
people in the name of the Exclusion Law, while, on the other 
hand, many statesmen have bestowed much good and many 
blessings upon China. 

China cannot help but hold the United States in grateful 
memory. I say exactly what I mean, and mean what I say. 
The United States is the only powerful nation that has not at 
any time resorted to methods of bullying, coercing, or browbeat- 
ing China for the sake of commercial gain. ,In short, she is ever 
ready to stretch forth a helping hand in any crisis that China 
might have to pass through. Who helped to preserve the integ- 
rity of China by means of the open door policy, but the United 


States? Who took the lead in returning a portion of the Boxer 
indemnity fund which the powers extorted out of China, but the 
United States? Which was the first power to recognize the 
establishment of the Republic of China, but the United States? 
Who is doing the best medical and educational work in China, 
but the United States? Counting up the blessings one by one 
we have much indeed to be thankful for to the United States. 

So you can readily see that the Exclusion Law is the only 
obstacle in the way of the most friendly relations between the 
two nations. Removing that, you will have a great admirer in 
the younger republic of the world. 

America has always set a noble example to the world and a 
striking illustration is her position of neutrality in the present 
great war. As one great American said: " She ought to decree 
such wise things and such right things that she shall be considered 
a leader to the free nations of the earth." 

The best means, therefore, of modifying the Exclusion Law is 
for the Christian people as well as all fair-minded Americans, 
to band together and educate and awaken the public opinion to 
the realization of the fact that there is but very little spirit of 
justice in the Exclusion Law. You will then have accomplished 
much in getting rid of the little element of friction between the 
two countries, and you will have exemplified to the wide world 
that America is a land full of noble impulse for justice and 




IT IS now twenty-five years since I landed in the United States 
with a group of Slovaks from the district of Scharosh in 

I followed them across the sea and watched this historic move- 
ment of the Slavs, who until then had remained practically 
dormant where they had been left by the glacier-like move- 
ment of their race, the pressure of the invader, or the fate which 
governed Eastern European politics. 

It was a fascinating experience to see these forgotten children 
of an unresponsive soil coming in touch with a civilization of 
which they had never dreamed ; to see the struggle of emotions 
in their usually impassive faces, as they saw the evidences of 
European culture and wealth in the Northern cities through 
which we passed. 

What fear crept into their hearts and drove the healthy blood 
from their cheeks when for the first time they saw the turbu- 
lent sea. 

The ocean was vaster and the fear of it most real to us who 
sailed out of Bremerhaven in the steerage of the steamer Fulda; 
for we were the forerunners of a vast army of men which had 
scarcely begun to think of leaving its age-long bivouac. The 
Slav has never taken kindly to the sea, and the more held 
unconquered terrors. 

It is difficult now to describe the incidents of that first landing 
in New York, for in rapid succession the experience has been so 
often repeated ; and all the joys, fears, and hopes which repeatedly 
I have shared with hundreds and thousands of men are so blended 
in my memory into one great wonder, that either analysis or 
description seems vain. 



It is strange and yet natural, no doubt, that I remember 
the trivial incidents of that first landing. The attempt on the 
part of some of my Slovaks to eat bananas without removing 
the skins; their first acquaintance with mince pie, which they 
declared a barbarous dish; our first meal on American soil, 
in a third-rate boarding-house for immigrants, and the injunc- 
tion of one of the earlier comers: " Don't wait for anybody, 
but grab all you can. In this country the motto is : 'Happy is 
the man who can help himself ! ' ' 

I remember the lonely feeling that crept over us as we found 
ourselves like driftwood in the great current of humanity in the 
city of New York, and the fear we had of every one who was 
at all friendly; for we had been warned against sharpers. I 
remember our pleasure in the picturesque ferryboat which 
carried us to New Jersey, its walking beam seeming like the 
limbs of some great monster crossing the water. 

Then crowding fast upon one another come memories of hard 
tasks in gruesome mines and ghostly breakers ; the sight of lick- 
ing flames like fiery tongues darting out at us, from furnaces full 
of bubbling, boiling metal ; the circling camps of the coke burn- 
ers who kept their night's vigil by the altars of the Fire God. 

There are memories of dark ravines and mud banks, choked 
by refuse of mill and mine ; the miners' huts, close together, as 
if space were as scarce on the earth as compassion for the stranger. 

I remember the kindness of the poor, the hospitality of the 
crowded, the hostility of the richer and stronger, who feared 
that we would drive them from their diggings ; and the unbelief 
of those to whom I early began preaching the humanity of the 
Slav rough and uncouth, but human still, although he has 
scarcely ever had a fair chance to prove it. 

Of the names of the various towns through which I passed, 
in which I worked and watched, I particularly remember 
four : Connellsville, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and 
Streator, Illinois, all of them typical coal towns. In none of 
them were my people received with open arms, although they 
rarely met with organized hostility. 

In Scranton and in Streator, they still remember our coming 
and our staying. Since then, I have repeatedly visited all these 
four places upon errands of investigation and interpretation. 


I always dreaded going back to them; not only because it 
would revive painful memories of a very hard apprenticeship, 
but because I could not avoid asking myself if the optimism 
with which I have treated the problem of immigration, by voice 
and pen, would be justified. 

What if the Americans in these cities should say : 

We have lived with these Slavs for twenty-five years and more; 
we have been with them day after day, while you have flitted about 
the country. We know better than you do. We told you the "Hun- 
key" was a menace when he came, and he is a menace still. 

f^f well know that my readers and my auditors have often criti- 
cized my optimism, and especially the sympathetic note with 
which I approach this problem, regarding which they are always 
more skeptical the more remote they are from it. 

I have tried to modify my view of the problem by facing it 
in all its bearings; I have not shrunk from seeing the worst of 
it. In fact I know American cities best from that dark and 
clouded side. I know the Little Italics, the Ghettos, the Patches 
around the mines, the East Side of New York and the West 
Side of Chicago ; although I have never been the full length of 
Fifth Avenue and have never seen the famous North Shore 

I am familiar with penitentiaries, jails, police courts, and even 
worse places ; for I wanted to know to what depths these leaden 
souls can sink, and I fear that I have more anxiety as to their 
nativity than their destiny. Yet, having seen the worst of the 
bad, I never lost my faith in these lesser folk and my optimism 
remained unclouded. One fear alone assailed me; that what 
my critics said to me and of me was true. "He is an immigrant 
himself, and of course it is natural that he should see the brighter 
side of the problem." To me, that was the severest and most 
cutting criticism, just because I feared it might be true ; yet I 
have honestly tried to see the darkest side of this question, both 
as it affected the immigrant and the country that received him. 

I have listened patiently to jeremiads of home mission secre- 
taries about these "Godless foreigners." I have read the reports 
of Immigrant Commissions, and all the literature written the 
last few years upon this subject, and I am still optimistic, and 


disagree with much that I have heard and read. Many authors 
who have written regarding this question had no first-hand in- 
formation about it. They knew neither the speech nor the 
genius of these new people ; they had a fixed belief that all civiliza- 
tion, culture, and virtue, belong to the north of Europe and that 
the east and southeast of that continent are its limbo ; and they 
relied upon statistics, which at best are misleading, when used 
to estimate human conduct and human influences. 

Typical of this class of literature is a recent pamphlet upon 
the subject, which, judging from the excellent bibliography ap- 
pended, must be based upon extensive reading ; yet the author 
comes to this conclusion : 

Assimilation in the twentieth century is a very different matter 
from assimilation in the nineteenth. In many respects, the new immi- 
gration is as bad as the old was good. 1 

There are several facts which this author has forgotten, as 
have those from whom he draws. First, the older immigrant 
is not yet assimilated. In the agricultural counties of Mr. 
Edwards' own state, there are townships in which the English 
language is a foreign tongue, although the second generation 
of Germans already plows the fertile fields of Wisconsin; and 
there are cities where the Germans have thoroughly assimilated 
the Americans. 

There are places of no mean size in Pennsylvania, which are as 
German as they were 200 years ago, and as far as the Irish every- 
where are concerned, it is still a question what we shall be when 
they have done with us. 

I venture to predict that the twentieth century immigrant 
will assimilate much more quickly and completely than the 
immigrants of the eighteenth and the early half of the nineteenth 
centuries assimilated. 

Beside the fact that the process is going on much more rapidly 
than ever before, as I asserted, my theories are corroborated 
by Professor Ross, of the University of Wisconsin, whose book 
is suggestive if not conclusive. Speaking of the assimilation of 
the immigrant, he says : 

1 " Studies on American Social Conditions Immigration." By Richard 
Henry Edwards, p. 9. 



On the whole, those who come now Americanize much more readily 
than did the non- English immigrants of the seventeenth and eight- 
eenth centuries. Not only do they come from lesser peoples and from 
humbler social strata, but, thanks to the great role the United States 
plays in the world, the American culture meets with far more prestige 
than it had then. Although we have ever greater masses to assimilate, 
let us comfort ourselves with the fact that the vortical suction of 
our civilization is stronger now than even before. 1 

Neither is any one prepared to prove that the "new immigrant 
is as bad as the old was good." 

It is very interesting that when authors and speakers quote 
statistics, as they usually do, to prove the criminal nature of 
the new immigrant, they do not differentiate between the older 
and the newer groups. If they did, and would let statistics 
determine the issue, they would find that the new immigrant is 
good and the old bad ; yes, very bad. 

The following tables, quoted from the Report of the Commis- 
sion of Immigration of the State of New York, are worthy the 
close study of Mr. Edwards and the authors upon whom he has 
relied. 2 


DURING 1904 





Aggregate . 

"2 6?0 



Total white 




Native white 

2 266 

16 7^0 

10 O2<C 

Native white of native parentage 
Native white of foreign parentage 
Native white of mixed parentage 



I ^O^ 


Native white of unknown parentage 
Foreign-born whites 

4 8 
I O7Z 

8 1 58 


Whites of unknown nativity 



5 6 


2 -2Q 

I T2Q 





Indians .... 




Social Psychology," Ross, p. 140. 
2 Report of Commission of Immigration of the State of New York, pp. 182 and 














6 3 





o ^ 



England and \Vales 


6 2 


8 i 

France . ..... 


i 8 







l^. o 


T r 

I 4. 


I O 



I? 7 

2 r6o 












O 7 


O. 1 ? 











Scotland .... 


i 6 

2 2O 




i. T. 








Other countries 













All paupers admitted 10,272 

Per cent of white paupers admitted : x 

Native - . . 44.0 per cent. 

Foreign-born 56.0 per cent. 









England and Wales ... 


Canada (including Newfoundland) .... 


Scandinavia . 


France .... 


Scotland .... . 


Italy . . 



Hungary and Bohemia .... 




. 4.0 


Grand total 




What is more striking still is the following table which seems 
to prove that the new immigrant does not increase his percentage 
in the criminal column materially, in fact that there is a slight 
tendency to decrease it. 1 









Under one year 




I O 

One year 




2 8 

Two years . 


* 8 


* 6 

Three years 




7 A 

Four years 


3 6 

1 77 

2 2 

Over four years 


7 1 ? 3 

7 14.3 

87 o 

Totals . . f 

I OQ4. 


8 217 


I am not trying to prove that the old immigration was worse 
than the new ; I do not believe that these statistics prove it, in 
spite of their appearing to. But they do prove conclusively 
that statistics of this kind are absolutely unreliable in furnishing 
tests of the moral fiber of this or that group. 

Far more reliable is the verdict of various communities after 
twenty-five years' experience with the new immigrant. 

Take for example the city of Streator, 111., which has steadily 
grown in size and in the number and variety of its industrial 
establishments; a development which could not have taken 
place without the new* immigrant. There are certain unprofitable 
seams in the mines which the English-speaking miners would not 
have worked ; even as there are less profitable veins which the 
Slav does not care to touch and which are being worked by Sicil- 
ians, new upon the scene. 

It is true that out of the 500 Welsh miners there are only 
about fifty left ; but the 450 were pushed up and not out, and 

Lare in no position to complain. They have moved on to farms 
and have grown prosperous, while some of the most lucrative 
business in the city is theirs. 

It does seem a great pity that a skilled trade like mining should 
x have passed into the hands of unskilled laborers ; but for this, 

1 Report of Commission of Immigration of the State of New York, p. 183. 


the invention of machinery is to blame, and not the foreigner. 
Had comparatively cheap labor been unavailable, the genius 
of the American would not have stopped until he had all but 
eliminated the human element, as he has done in many other 
trades in which unskilled foreign labor is not a factor. 

Twenty-five years ago I "squatted" near mine No. 3 with 
my men from Scharosh. It was as wretched a patch as miners' 
patches always are. We bunked twenty in a room and took as 
good care of our bodies as conditions permitted ; so that when 
we went down- town we were cleanly if not stylish. 

My men soon learned to drink whisky like the Irish, swear 
like the English, and dress like the Americans. 

After twenty-five years the patches around the mines in Streator 
are practically gone, and the homes there are as good as the Welsh 
or English miners ever had. Some of the newer additions in that 
growing city are occupied entirely by Slavs and do them credit. 

Nor has the Slav been content to remain in' the mines; he, 
too, has begun to move out and up. He owns saloons and sightly 
stores in which his sons and daughters clerk, and it would take 
a very keen student of race characteristics to distinguish the 
Slavs from the native Americans. 

"Do you see that young man at the entrance to the Chautauqua?" 
said Mr. Williams, its public spirited secretary. 

"Racially, his father is as sharply marked a man as I have ever 
seen, and the son, a graduate of Harvard, looks as if his forefathers 
had all grown up in the salt air of the New England coast." 

Here in Streator were the people who have lived with the new 
immigrant a quarter of a century and more, and I have spoken 
to them three times, in my most optimistic vein ; many a man 
and woman have said : 

You are right, they make splendid citizens. 

They are good neighbors. 

They are as human as we are, and they are proving it. 

This, in spite of the fact that in Streator as in Connellsville 
and in hundreds of industrial towns, they have been met with 
suspicion and have been treated with injustice ! 


"They are a great strain upon our political institutions," said 
Mr. Williams, himself once a Welsh miner, pushed out of the 
mine by the Slav and now one of the leading citizens of Streator. 

But Mr. Williams knows that the year I lived in Streator, when 
the Slav had no vote or influence, politics in that city were already 
corrupt and that the corrupters were native Americans, whose 
ancestors harked back to the Mayflower, and who were rewarded 
for their corruption by high political offices. In truth, when the 
Slav came to this country, there was nothing left to corrupt, 
in Scranton or Wilkes-Barre, in Connellsville or Streator; or, 
indeed, in all Pennsylvania and Illinois. The Slav now has some 
political power ; but as yet he has not produced the "grafter." I 
do not say that he will not ; but when he does, small blame to him. 

In one of the four cities which I have mentioned, I shared with 
a group of Poles the vicissitudes of the first few weeks in a 
boarding-house, a combination of saloon and hotel, common in 
Pennsylvania, and usually offering more bar than board. 

One evening an American came among us, a splendid type 
of agile manhood. When my men saw him, they said, "This is 
a prince!" They did not know that he was a politician. He 
shook hands with every one of us, and I said to the men, "This 
is democracy ! " Poor fool ! I did not know that it was the day 
before election. 

Then he marched the men to the bar, and said to the barkeeper : 
"Fill 'em up." And as they drank the fiery stuff, no doubt 
they thought they were in Heaven, and forgot that they were 
in Pennsylvania. When the whisky took effect, they were 
marched into a large hall, where other Poles, drunk as they, 
were congregated ; speeches were made, full of the twaddle of 
political jargon which they did not understand, and when morn- 
ing came, these Poles, so intoxicated that they did not know 
whether they were North Poles or South Poles, were marched 
to the voting-place and sworn in. 

I have told this story in each of the four places referred to, 
and in the place where it occurred, a judge, who was among my 
audience, said to me : 

"Don't tell that story again." 

" Why not ? It is true," I replied. 


"Yes," he said, "it is perfectly true; but you'd better save your 
strength. In this city, not only the foreigners, who are not citizens, 
vote; but the dead vote, ,long after they have become citizens of 
Kingdom Come." 

One of these same Poles recently took me through the Capitol 
of Pennsylvania at Harrisburg. With great pride he guided 
me from foundation to dome, pointing out those objects of inter- 
est which every stranger must see, as if they were the memorials 
of noble deeds of valour. 

They consist of wood, painted to imitate marble, chan- 
deliers of base metal, to be sold by the pound, at fabulous 
prices, and among many other spurious things, a safe, sup- 
posed to be fireproof and burglar-proof, but which was not 
politician-proof, for an ordinary gimlet bored a hole into its cor- 
rupt heart. 

What was distressing to me was not so much that the State 
paid millions for this veneered and varnished fraud, but that 
my Polish guide pronounced the word graft with evident relish 
and without fear or shame. 

I do not doubt that the presence of the new immigrant is "a 
great strain upon our political institutions"; but not greater 
than the old immigrant was, and still is. This certainly is true 
of Pennsylvania ; for there are counties in that state, into whose 
wilds the new immigrant has not yet penetrated, and where 
those who have been living off its fat acres since their birth 
the sons of immigrants who came two hundred years ago 
hold their right of franchise cheap. I am told that in these coun- 
ties nearly every vote can be bought for five dollars. 

This may be idle rumor ; but the fact remains and can be 
proved by any one who chooses to investigate, that Scranton, 
Wilkes-Barre, Connellsville and a hundred other cities and towns, 
are better governed now than they were before Slav, Latin, and 
Jew came to live in their Patches and Ghettos. This is true in 
spite of our having tried to corrupt these new citizens from the 
very hour when they received their political rights, and that, 
when they had no rights, we treated them with neglect and 

The mayor of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, a man of the newer 
and better type of administrators, whose territory is completely 


environed by the coke regions and has an almost totally foreign 
population says : 

They make reliable citizens. They can be trusted absolutely. 
Their worst enemy is drink ; but when a foreigner comes before me 
and is fined, if he has no money and I let him go home, he will come 
the next day to pay his fine even if he lives ten miles from town. Yet 
in spite of the fact that the "Hunkey" and the "Dago" have helped 
build up Greensburg and have enriched its citizens, they are still 
held in contempt by the majority of its people. 

This same official told me that a few years ago when the 
Italians celebrated their Independence Day, the High School 
boys of that city threw decayed vegetables at them and their 
national flag. 

Without the slightest reserve I can say this : Wherever an 
enlightened official, like this mayor, or teachers of the public 
schools, ministers of the Gospel and business men, have come in 
real contact with the new immigrant, their verdict was entirely 
different from that of Mr. Edwards and many of the professional 
writers upon the problem which the foreigner represents. 

There are some places in the United States where I have found 
the immigrant a menace, and one of them is in Pittston, Pennsyl- 
vania. There the Italian is really bad ; there he is an Anarchist 
and a murderer. But in Pittston I discovered the really bad 
American, an Anarchist and a murderer; although he may be 
the owner of some of the mines or a high official in the town. In 
that city, every law which governs mining has been openly 
violated, and there is at least one mine in the place which is 
nothing but a deep hell-hole and is known as such by the men 
compelled to work in it. It is a mine in which anything may be 
had for a bribe and anything may be done without fear of punish- 
ment. In one of the last communal elections, the candidate for 
its highest office kept open house, with beer and " booze" in one 
of the miners' shacks ; young boys, not out of their teens, were 
allowed to drink to intoxication, and the candidate already 
mentioned was not an Italian or a Slav or a Jew ; but an Ameri- 
can, unto the tenth generation, and a member of a Protestant 

I do not rejoice in writing this or in telling it as I have had to 


tell it in the towns affected, and to the very men who have thus 

It is painful to me, because, after all, I do not feel myself so 
closely identified with the immigrant as with the American. 
While my sympathies are with the immigrant, they are much 
more with this, my country, and with that circle of the native 
born, whose ideals, whose hopes, and whose aspirations have 
become mine. 

I am not greatly concerned with immigration, per se; that is 
a subject for the economist, which I am not. It is for him, if 
he is skilled enough, to know whether we can afford to keep our 
gates open to the millions who come, or when and to whom to 
close them. 

Narrowly, or perhaps selfishly, I am concerned for those who 
are here ; that they be treated justly, with due appreciation of 
their worth, and that they may see that best in the American 
which has bound me to him, to his land and to its history ; to 
its best men living, and to those of its dead who left a great leg- 
acy, too great to be squandered by a prodigal generation. 

Knowing how great this legacy is, and yet may be for the 
blessing of mankind, I am pleading for this new immigrant. If 
we care at all for that struggling, striving mass of men, un- 
blessed as yet by those gifts of Heaven which have blessed us, 
let us prove to these people of all kindreds and races and nations, 
that our God is the Lord, that His law is our law and that all 
men are our brothers. 



SEVEN cities were included by the Federal Immigration 
Commission in its study of conditions : New York, which 
with its hundreds of thousands of tenement houses and with an 
equal number of pages describing their evils is preeminently 
the congested city ; Chicago, which in lifting itself out of a swamp 
left behind many a basement where the poor seek shelter, and 
many a yard which is dry only in the hottest season ; Philadel- 
phia, with its network of narrow alleys with surface drainage, its 
three-room houses with insufficient water supply and sanitary 
equipment, in a word, with its " horizontal tenement houses"; 
Boston, where " Americans in process" succeed each other in the 
restricted area of the North and the West Ends, and where the 
one-family dwelling, converted for the use of several households, 
emphasizes the rapid change of conditions; Cleveland, which 
awoke to find itself one of the leading cities in America and has 
not had time to think of the necessity of protecting itself from 
the slum ; Buffalo, with its enormous colony of Poles who have 
come from. farms in Europe and have to learn the solution of the 
problem of existence in a city ; and Milwaukee, the most foreign 
city of them all, where there is no limit of space, and where in 
spite of that, economic pressure frequently results in crowding 
of houses on a lot and of persons in a house. 

It was felt that an inquiry covering representative districts 
in these seven cities could safely be accepted as indicative 
of what may be found elsewhere in the United States, in the 
poorest environment and most congested quarters. This also 
would afford a much broader basis for judgment than the study 
of a single locality. For many reasons the problem of the 

1 From The Survey, January i, 1911. 


immigrant in large cities has for almost a generation attracted a 
great deal of attention. The vast majority of immigrants land in 
two or three seaports, and large numbers remain there, for a time 
at least. The phenomenal growth of cities and the difficulties 
accompanying their growth have been intensified by the influx 
of millions of aliens, who for the most part are unacquainted with 
urban conditions in their own countries, and are dazed by the 
complexity of existence in the great American cities. And it 
must be remembered that writers, like immigrants, congregate 
in large cities, and their proximity to the foreign colonies has had 
its natural result. The social reformer who wishes to remedy 
preventable evils, as well as the journalist who is anxious to 
present readable material, has consistently dwelt on the crowding 
and filth, the poverty and destitution, of which there are such 
extreme instances in the poorer quarters of every city. Public 
opinion has been aroused, and legislation enacted which has 
tended to minimize the evils of overcrowding in many of the 
older cities, and to inform the younger cities of the dangers of 
unregulated growth. But the result also has been to create in the 
popular imagination an impression that the extreme instances 
cited are the whole story, and that the congested quarters of large 
cities, full of filth, squalor, and depraved humanity, are a menace 
to the nation's health and morals. Moreover, the responsibility 
for these conditions is almost universally placed by old residents 
on the immigrant, and primarily on the recent immigrant, from 
the South and East of Europe. The Italian, the Hebrew, and 
the Slav, according to popular belief, are poisoning the pure air 
of our otherwise well-regulated cities ; and if it were not for them 
there would be no congestion, no filth, and no poverty in the 
great industrial and commercial centers of America. 

Once the cities were selected, the problem was to choose the 
districts. The method of study agreed upon was to canvass a 
certain number of blocks, representing the most important races 
in each city and the worst representative conditions. After the 
blocks had been selected every household living there was visited, 
and schedules were secured from them. In this way the study was 
not confined to individual cases showing extremes of poverty or 
of prosperity, but included every family that resided within the 
chosen quarter. In most cases the blocks studied were uniformly 


populated by one race. It was no easy problem to find blocks 
of that description. The population of the districts in many 
instances changes so rapidly, that the race which predominates 
in one of them to-day may constitute but a small minority to- 
morrow. City officials and settlement workers were helpful in 
locating foreign colonies, but in addition we interviewed physi- 
cians, district nurses, grocers, letter-carriers, priests, and saloon- 
keepers. It was especially difficult to find solid blocks of Irish 
and of Germans, and it is only fair to add that the households of 
these older races often represent the failures which were left 
behind when their more successful countrymen moved to better 
.neighborhoods. For the sake of comparison, it was felt that some 
American households ought to be included ; but that was a still 
harder proposition. What was meant by Americans were house- 
holds whose heads were natives of native fathers . Few such house- 
holds were found in crowded districts, and never did they form 
the majority of the population of a block. They were studied 
whenever found within the specified areas inhabited by working 
people. In Boston, to secure one hundred family schedules from 
such native stock, about 700 homes were visited. It is worthy of 
note that the search for Americans in the poorer quarters of 
American cities was an arduous task. 

To secure the desired information from every family visited 
was not always an easy undertaking. The recent immigrants, 
who are more accustomed to a paternalistic government and 
have not learned the hall-marks of American liberty, were the 
easiest to interview. Some of the old residents, who have learned 
to look upon themselves as the sovereign people and consider 
the government as their agent, were unwilling to answer the 
questions. I shall never forget my own experience with an Irish 
woman, twice my size, but as it turned out with a bad memory 
for faces, who not only refused to answer my timid questions, 
but took the trouble to escort me downstairs and to threaten 
violence should I come " nosing around" again. This was at 
the very outset of the work. A month or two later, fortified by 
accumulated experience, I returned to the same house and 
obtained schedules from all the tenants, including my formidable 
antagonist, who this time was quite accommodating and confided 
that she knew the difference between a real government agent 


and a fraud. As proof, she told of the treatment she had recently 
accorded to a "mutt" who wished to impose upon her. One of 
the women agents had an exciting time in a "Krainer" household 
in Cleveland. The owner of the house, a man of consequence in 
the community, refused point blank to answer any questions, 
grabbed the agent by the arm and put her out. The agent re- 
ferred the matter to the United States marshal who accompanied 
her on her next visit. The "Krainer" was impressed, helped 
fill out the schedule, and ended by a proposal of marriage which 
was taken as a great compliment by the canvasser. Another 
schedule worker was one time surrounded by a crowd of irate 
Italians, who would not let her leave the premises until she had 
destroyed the records which she had taken great pains to obtain. 
Incidents of this nature w.ere not unusual, but every agent who 
worked in this investigation will agree with me, that the pro- 
portion of "difficult" families was 'surprisingly small, when 
the large number of questions asked and the personal character 
of some of them are taken into consideration, and that the in- 
vestigators owe a great deal to the willingness and courtesy of 
most of the families canvassed. 

The inquiry covered over 10,200 households and over 51,000 
individuals. The largest number of households, 2667, was 
studied in New York, and the smallest, 687, in Buffalo. It is 
apparent that this total represents only a small proportion of all 
families living amid congested conditions in the United States. 
Yet those studied were representative of many times as many 
households living under substantially similar conditions in the 
seven cities chosen. It seems fair, therefore, to say that what the 
study reveals are the worst living conditions existing on a large 
scale in any of the large cities of America. 

What then are some of the vital facts disclosed by the in- 
vestigation? First of all, it reaffirms that crowded districts are 
largely populated by immigrants, and more particularly by 
recent immigrants. In the eastern cities, New York, Philadel- 
phia, and Boston, the Russian Hebrews and the south Italians 
are the largest elements in congested foreign colonies. In the 
cities on the Great Lakes, Buffalo, Cleveland, Chicago, and Mil- 
waukee, the various Slavic races, the Poles, Slovaks, and Slove- 
nians, are found in large numbers. About two thirds of the 


foreign-born in the selected districts have been in this country 
less than ten years, and one< fifth has immigrated within the 
past five years. 

A noteworthy fact in this connection is that about one family 
out of every ten visited owns its home. Of course, this does not 
mean that the families have clear titles to the property ; but it 
is indicative of thrift and of the intention on the part of the 
immigrants to settle permanently in this country. The propor- 
tion varies greatly from city to city; in Milwaukee, it is one in. 
five ; in Buffalo, one in six ; in Chicago and in Cleveland, about 
one in seven ; in Philadelphia, one in fourteen ; in Boston, one 
in twenty, and in New York, one in two hundred. 

In connection with the prevailing opinion about the filth, 
which is supposed to be the natural element of the immigrant, it 
is an interesting fact that, while perhaps five sixths of the blocks 
studied justified this belief, so far as the appearance of the street 
went, five sixths of the interiors of the homes were found to be 
fairly clean, and two out of every five were immaculate. When 
this is considered in connection with the frequently inadequate 
water supply, the dark halls, and the large number of families 
living in close proximity, the responsibility for uncleanliness and 
insanitary conditions is largely shifted from the immigrants to 
the landlords, and to the municipal authorities who spare no 
expense in sprinkling oil to save the wealthy automobilists from 
the dust, but are very economical when it comes to keeping the 
poorer streets in a habitable condition. The water supply, the 
drainage, and the condition of the pavement are also outside the 
jurisdiction of the tenants ; and yet their neglect results in - bad 
conditions for which the resident of the crowded districts is 

Congestion itself is a relative term, and hard to measure 
statistically without going into more details than any extensive 
investigation can afford to do. And yet it does seem like some- 
thing of an anti-climax to the cry about terrible congestion, 
when the fact is stated that the average number of persons per 
room in the 10,000 households studied by the commission is 
1.34. The average is higher in Boston, Philadelphia and Cleve- 
land than in New York, and is lowest in Milwaukee, where the 
figure is 1.15. Some races show averages far higher than those 


for all the households studied, and yet the highest figure which 
is found among the Slovenians does not exceed 1.72 persons per 
room. These figures are significant, because they indicate that 
the pictures of six or more persons per room, which are frequently 
given to the public, do not represent general conditions, but are 
exceptional. It is also interesting that New York shows lower 
averages than Boston and Philadelphia. This suggests that after 
all, when a certain density of population is reached, the building 
of tenement houses tends to increase the amount of floor area 
per acre and reduce the number of persons per square yard of 
floor space, and presumably per room. Not that congestion per 
acre is devoid of evils, such as traffic congestion, lack of breathing 
space or of playgrounds for the children ; but this problem is part 
of the general problem of the growth of large cities and is not 
confined to foreign quarters. 

Another current belief is that all of the foreigners in poorer 
sections of cities keep large numbers of boarders or lodgers, and 
sacrifice comfort and decency to their inordinate desire to save 
money, in order presumably to return home and live on what they 
have earned in America. I shall not stop to consider the economic 
fallacy involved in this reasoning, and in the theory that these ) 
savings when sent abroad are a loss to America; I shall only 1 
point out that the study of immigrant homes has shown that/ 
only about one out of every four keeps boarders or lodgers at/ 
all, so that three fourths of the households consist of what may 
be called the natural family. It is further noteworthy that crowd- 
ing in larger apartments is never as great as in smaller apartments, 
which suggests that the immigrant household is crowded either 
because, having a large family, the head cannot afford a sufficient 
number of rooms ; or because, having taken an apartment of 
standardized size, he finds himself unable to pay the rent and 
support his family without the help of one or two lodgers. There 
is no evidence of boarders or lodgers being kept as a business nor 
of a sacrifice of comfort or decency to cupidity, as it is called in 
the immigrant, or even to thrift, as it is called in the native. > 
Crowding, when it appears, is the result of grim economic neces- / 
sity, and as a rule it disappears as soon as the pressure relaxes. I 

In studying foreign colonies in cities, one is constantly reminded 
of the forces which create them and keep them together. Most 


immigrants come to join friends or relatives and thus form the 
nucleus of a colony ; the first few families attract more, and in a 
short time a racial island is created in the city. Once the colony 
is established there are many reasons for its continued existence 
and growth. 

It is expensive to move ; it is sometimes hard to find a position 
in a new environment or to pay car fare, or even to be deprived 
of the possibility of coming home for lunch. Furthermore, 
friendly relations, kinship, language, religious affiliations, dietary 
laws and preferences, and the greater ease of securing boarders in 
districts where immigrants of the same race are centered, tend 
to keep the families where they have once settled. 

But when the immigrant becomes accustomed to American 
conditions, when he has gained a firm economic footing, when his 
children have gone to American schools, the desire for better 
surroundings overcomes the economic and racial reasons for 
remaining in congested districts. The stream of emigration from 
the foreign colonies in large cities is continuous ; some move up- 
town when they marry, some seek new places to establish their 
own business ; others look for cleaner streets, and still others 
follow the current for no conscious reason. The older immigrants 
do not often form colonies in American cities any longer, and 
the newer arrivals clearly tend to follow the example of their 
predecessors in congested districts, gradually scattering over the 
city of residence and often leaving that city altogether. 

In conclusion, I wish to say that this study has not touched the 
general problem of the distribution of immigrants and their 
concentration in cities. What it has done is to show that the 
immigrants in cities in a large majority of cases live a clean and 
decent life, in spite of all the difficulties that are thrown in their 
way by economic struggle and municipal neglect. The study 
strongly indicates that racial characteristics are entirely sub- 
ordinate to environment and opportunity in determining that 
part of the immigrant's mode of life which is legitimately a matter 
of public concern ; and finally, it shows that foreign colonies in 
large cities are not stagnant, but are constantly changing their 
composition, the more successful members leaving for better 
surroundings, until finally the entire colony is absorbed in the 
melting pot of the American city. The population of congested 


quarters constantly changes, but the quarters themselves remain 
congested and will remain so as long as new immigrants continue 
to arrive in large numbers. It is vitally important for the city 
to keep her crowded quarters clean and her tenement houses 
sanitary ; but it is just as important that the public understand 
that congested quarters of large cities are temporary receptacles 
of newly arrived immigrants, rather than stagnant pools of filth, 
and vice, and destitution. 



THE consideration of the subject of immigration is not new. 
Ever since the days of the Athenian Republic, nations have 
had the subject to deal with in some form. 

The United States has passed through several stages in its 
attitude on the subject. In early colonial days immigration was 
so earnestly desired that enforced immigration was resorted to 
and unwilling lawbreakers were deported from England to this 
country and shiploads of slaves were brought from Africa. Let 
us not forget that one of the most conspicuous problems that this 
country has to face in regard to aliens dates from this latter 

One of the charges made against King George in the Declaration 
of Independence was that he interfered with immigration, and yet 
as early as 1780, Benjamin Franklin declared that unless the 
immigration from the continent is stopped the English language 
will cease to be the language of the country. Also in spite of the 
fact that William Penn showed himself to be an able forerunner 
of the present day immigration agent in the manner in which 
he advertised the advantages of Pennsylvania, we find that at 
that early day others were deploring the fact that those who were 
coming were very inferior to those who had come with the first 
ships. It is remarkable what virtues priority seems to give in the 
eyes of many ! 

After the country became fairly well populated there was a 
period of indifference to the subject and it was only in 1882 that 
any effort towards regulating immigration was undertaken by 
the government. 

1 Printed by The American Sociological Society and The Committee of One 
Hundred, Federal Council of Churches in America, August, 1915. 



At the present time I might characterize the attitude of most 
of our citizens as one of questionings if not of hostility, toward 
unrestricted immigration. 

In spite of the attention which has been directed to the subject 
in the past ten years when we have been receiving annually over 
one million aliens, most legislation has been abortive and un- 
related to the crux of the matter. The cause of this confusion in 
legislative enactment is due largely to the fact that none of 
the political parties and no candidates for election have had the 
courage to define their position upon this subject for fear of losing 
the naturalized vote. To my mind the hyphenated American 
citizen is as much interested in a sane and intelligent solution 
of this question as the native-born. He has sought this country 
for larger social or economic opportunities and frequently has a 
greater appreciation of American institutions than those born 
under the Stars and Stripes. A pertinent question for every 
native son of the United States to ask himself, especially those 
of colonial descent, whose fathers' blood made possible this 
government and who with bloodless effort availed themselves 
of the treasures that nature had stored up in geological periods, 
is : If I had not been born to this heritage of freedom would 
I have had the courage to claim it? Upon his ability to 
answer this subject in the affirmative rests their position as 
the leaders of the future destinies of this republic ; if answered 
in the negative, no adventitious circumstances, no pride of birth, 
no unjust laws can build a fortress around them sufficient 
to protect them for long against the onward and irresistible 
march of progress. I never see an alien woman in the street, 
in her peasant costume, with the look of anxiety and often fear 
on her face, that I do not mentally make obeisance to her, 
for I question if I would have the bravery to do what she 
has done. 

What she has done, it did not matter how circumstance 
pressed. And so we pay, one way or another, for all that we have, 
it does not matter in what form it comes. Now that Nature has 
been tanied, the only way that we can hope to keep alive the 
splendid pioneer spirit of our ancestors is to stand on the 
frontiers of moral reform and to be the adventurous bowman for 
civil economic and religious liberty. 



Easy living, easy dying is as true of the national as of the 
physical body. 

While there is nothing startlingly new in the general subject of 
immigration the problem of the unattached alien woman is new 
in its present form. 

.We who traceour^ ancestry back to the colonial days, rather 
resent having our attention callecTto the fact that large numbers 
of women who were deported from Great Britain to the colonies 
and whose progeny were doubtless absorbed into some of the 
first families for eligible females were rather scarce in those days. 
A picture of what the inhumanity of man caused some of those 
first alien women to suffer has come down to us in that wonderful 
classic "Manon Lescaut." If you want to know what our civiliza- 
tion has cost alien women, read some of the official manuscripts 
preserved in the Library at Paris, of the settlement of Louisiana. 
A young friend of mine went to Paris to prepare a thesis upon 
the settlement of Alabama, and she told me the horrors that were 
revealed to her in those musty documents were unbelievable. 

Let us not forget that much of the civilization of America was 
built upon the sufferings of alien women and that the ties 
which bound together the thirteen colonies were cemented with 
their blood. 

But it is with the alien woman of to-day that I have to deal. 

The movement of unattached women of every nationality is 
a significant feature of the day. It is an unmistakable sign of 
her unrest and dissatisfaction of the old order. Even our own 
daughters prefer occupation far from their home in the majority 
of cases. This practice on the part of American women has 
affected European women. \ Formerly men of the family came 
first. Now it is not at all unusual to find women coming first and 
sending back for the men of the family. Many have said to me 
that American women do not have to have a home. Why should 
they? A boarding house answers every purpose. 

In considering the alien woman it is safe to say that if you 
multiply the injustices which alien men are subjected to it will 
not exaggerate her plight. All that he suffers she suffers also 
and added to it the burden incident to her sex. 

If the injustice is economic and he is a married man, the woman 
must stretch the family purse to meet the demands of the family, 


and if any member must go without, it is always the mother. Is it 
any wonder that foreign children are so often ashamed of their 
mothers because they are so different from other children's 
mothers and because of this drift away from her wholesome 
influence ? If we believe that in a well-ordered American home, 
the mother should be the center, is it not time we took some for- 
ward step which will lead to some permanent constructive meas- 
ures that will dignify the alien mother who is often an uncrowned 
heroine ? Something has been done at Hull House by establishing 
a museum of hand industries, but every locality should perfect 
some machinery where the alien mother might have just rec- 
ognition without having to wait to get to heaven to receive it. 

The economic injustice to which the self-supporting alien 
woman is subjected is well known. Usually unskilled and in- 
capable of initiative, there are practically no labor unions which 
are open to her and she has practically no redress from greedy 
employers. Frequently I have had in my charge, in New York, 
girls who had been employed in a private family for several 
months and then have been taken out on the street and left, in 
order that they might not be forced to pay them their earnings. 
Sometimes it has taken weeks to find where the parties lived, for 
as strange as it may seem, these girls often stay for months in a 
house and never learn the name of the street. The number of 
girls thus cheated must be enormous for their fear of the invisible 
government often makes them afraid to make complaints, and it 
is only the few cases that fall into the hands of some philanthropic 
organization that are ever heard of. 

Social injustice -is the alien woman's reward at every turn. 
Even the legislation which is passed to protect her often becomes 
a boomerang. The deportation acts of the Federal Department 
of Immigration cover the punishment of those who contribute 
to her delinquency as much as they punish her. In spite of this 
fact and although the sympathy of the heads of the department 
has always been with the friendless woman, minor officials have 
seen in this law an opportunity to magnify their importance and 
to swell the amount of work they have accomplished, have been 
indefatigable in arresting women, but strange to say are very 
unsuccessful in finding the guilty male partner. A well-merited 
rebuke was administered by a federal judge in San Francisco 


lately when he declined to hold the woman until her partner 
in crime was also arrested. 

Nothing is more in keeping with the wishes of man when he 
has gotten a woman in trouble than to have her deported and thus 
put the ocean between them, thus ridding him of his incumbrance. 
But I am glad to say that the recent order of the secretary of 
labor and Commissioner-General Camineti, placing all women 
held for deportation in the hands of a woman officer and in the 
custody of some private society, preferably of her own nationality 
and religion, assures every woman of having friends who will see 
that justice is done her. 

The difficulty of alien women_ get ting in touch with the best 
class of her countrymen is another source of social injustice 
and often sheer loneliness and the desire to talk to someone who 
speaks her own language will cause her to seek companionship 
among those, who, if other avenues were open to her, would not 
attract her. In every city there are groups of those of the same 
nationality, segregated into clubs, with different objects, all 
giving opportunities for social companionship and development, 
but these organizations are all for men. I know of none such for 
women. True, there are national organizations for women but 
they are invariably exclusive and the woman who needs them most 
is not eligible for membership. If they are not exclusive the best 
women of that race don't go to tnem. But it does not matter how 
democratic a man's club may be you will find the leading citizens 
of that nationality in the city belonging to them. 

The importance of reaching the alien woman is paramount if 
we are going to Americanize our foreign population. She is the 
crux of the whole subject. It is she who selects the neighborhood 
and the house in which the family live and the church which they 
attend. She has the opportunity to supplement the lessons at 
school and her attitude towards the problems of daily life un- 
consciously are reflected in the other members of the family. In 
the states in which women have the ballot she will be sought for by 
the ward politician and her ideals of the ballot will reflect the 
attitude of her teacher. 

As some practical suggestions as to the means, I would rec- 
ommend that every state pass a law similar to the California 
law whereby teachers may be sent into the home to instruct the 


mothers. That efforts be put forth by the men's clubs to form 
national centers to which the mothers may be gathered and where 
they will be addressed in their own language. That our national 
holidays be set aside especially for the education in American 
ideals. That special occasions of joy be participated in on the 
national holidays of that nationality. That we educate ourselves 
in the contributions that each nation has made to our literature 
and that we voice our appreciation of these contributions. 
That we see to it that the municipality is not lax in enforcing the 
health laws in the foreign community and that if any part of 
the municipality must suffer at the hands of the street cleaning 
department it shall be other than the foreign district where 
frequently the streets and alleys are often the only playgrounds 
or parks. Neighbor liness on the part of the women of the com- 
munity who have a recognized standing will do more to wipe out 
the injustices than any other one thing. When the exploiters 
find they have the club women of the community to deal with 
they will be more careful or at least more guarded in their 
approach. That the inferior courts, particularly the police courts, 
be dignified and organized upon a basis that will command for them 
the same respect as the superior courts, for it is in the police 
courts that the alien usually gets his introduction to the legal 
machinery of this country and his first impressions are the most 

That in each locality the district attorney's office set aside a 
particular time, putting in charge one of his most efficient assist- 
ants with a good interpreter, to hear the complaints of alien 
women. That where there are juvenile courts, special probation 
officers are detailed to get in touch with the foreign districts and 
enlighten the mothers upon the scope and value of the juvenile 
court, in order that when necessary she can use the court un- 
officially. In this way the arrest of many children would be pre- 
vented and the court would assist in upholding parental authority. 

Many things which make for national deterioration are laid 
at the door of the alien which do not rightly belong there. I 
was interested to note at a recent disgusting performance I "\ 
attended there was not apparently a foreigner there. The \ 
audience was composed of well-dressed American boys and girls. 1 
I could not help but think that if such a performance had been ^ 


given by foreign element the whole city would have rung with 
theory that our American institutions, our American Sunday, were 
being murdered by foreign influence. 

The above suggestions are based upon the belief that it does not 
matter how much we may disagree upon the policy of immigration, 
that we are all agreed that after the alien has been admitted into 
this country he is entitled not only to be given his just right but 
also to have the best opportunity to become a good citizen. 




^"PEAKING in broad general terms, this country has expe- 
O rienced the inflow of three great sections of the human races 
European, African, and Asiatic. In the one we have a case of 
voluntary immigration, and in the second a case of forced immi- 
gration, and in the third a case of exclusion. 

As the result of the forced immigration we have in the negro 
an element containing n.6 per cent of our total population, or 
more than one in ten, that for some reason or group of reasons 
whether historical accident or inferior ability or the ban of race 
prejudice has failed to be assimilated and now forms a most 
serious problem in a democracy. We are far from the day when 
arguments of either industrial development or mistaken self- 
sacrifice would tempt us to repeat this particular experience. 

In the case of the excluded element, the Chinese, we have 
a race with many estimable qualities, a race furnishing excellent 
material for self-sacrificing effort upon our part, a race anxious 
to aid our industrial development by coming in what would have 
been perhaps the largest tides of immigration we have ever ex- 
perienced. Nevertheless they are a people that for racial, social, 
political, and economic reasons 'we have decided to exclude. 

Between these two extremes, a race forced to immigrate 
and one forbidden to immigrate, stand, or rather come, the Eu- 
ropean races. Our prime concern is with them. With no other 
defense for my classification than that it serves well for discussion 
purposes and cannot be charged with inaccuracy or misrepresen- 
tation, when its difficulties have been frankly acknowledged, 
and with the further defense that this classification is coming 

1 Reprinted from the Proceedings of the National Conference of Charities and 
Correction, 1906. 


2 3 2 EFFECTS 

to be accepted by many of the best scholars,! shall speak of three 
races of Europe, the Baltic, the Alpine, and the Mediterranean. 

The Baltic race occupies the British Isles, Scandinavia, the 
southern and eastern shores of the Baltic in Russia, the northern 
half of the German Empire, northeastern Holland, northern Bel- 
guim, and northeastern France. In short, as the name indicates, 
this race is concentrated around the Baltic sea and includes the 
peoples of northwestern Europe. 

The Alpine race dwells in Switzerland, northern Italy, cen- 
tral France, southern Germany, and the greater part of 6-ussia 
and of the Balkan Peninsula. In short, it occupies the great 
highland region of central Europe. 

The Mediterranean race has as its habitat Spain, Portugal, 
the islands of the Mediterranean west of Italy, a strip of the 
southern shore of France, and southern Italy. In a badly mixed 
state it is to be found in Greece, and, mixed with Arab and Ne- 
groid strains, it is to be found in Africa north of the Sahara and 
west of Tunis. In brief, this race is concentrated in the sub- 
tropical region around the Mediterranean. 
*~ It is evident that in dealing with the effects of the immigra- 
tion of these races we shall have to consider three matters : 

1. The composition and quality of the population of this 
country before the great tides of immigration began. 

2. The volume and character of. the immigration. 

3. The results, both present and future, of the interplay of 
these forces. 

Taking up these matters in turn, what was the character of 
our population in 1790, the date of the first census? As we look 
back over our colonizing agencies, we might at first glance think 
of this population as being very heterogeneous. In New Eng- 
land there were the Puritans; in Virginia, the Cavaliers; in 
Maryland, the Catholics ; in New York, a strong Dutch element, 
stronger than is generally supposed ; in Pennsylvania and Dela- 
ware, one third of the population German or German descent ; 
along the Delaware river, .the descendants of the Swedes ; in the 
Carolinas, many villages of Highlanders and Huguenots, -v ap- 
parently a population varied in race, nationality, religion, tastes, 
and speech. And yet, a careful view of the evidence will cause 
a reconsideration of that opinion. 


After all, this 1790 population was mainly of English descent. 
The foreign element was a considerable portion in only a few of 
the colonies, while in New England, then comprising in itself 
about one third of the total 1790 population, there was perhaps 
the purest representation of the English people in the world. 
But whether of English descent or no, this 1790 population was 
emphatically of Baltic origin. It may almost be said to be ex- 
clusively Baltic, for the other elements are negligible, so much 
so that it is difficult to enumerate any non-Baltic elements of the 
whole population. Further, this population was, in the main, of 
most excellent stock. It is true that many of the early comers 
were mere adventurers and in some of the southern colonies 
worse than adventurers ; it is true that in some of the colonies 
there were convicts and indentured servants. Nevertheless the 
fact of the excellent stock remains. The influence of the un- 
desirables and adventurers was never dominant and diminished 
as time went on; the convicts were often merely political 
offenders men who had reserved the right to think for them- 
selves and so were the very best of colonists ; an important section 
of the indentured servant class was composed of thrifty, ambi- 
tious, progressive people who served out an indenture in order 
to better their condition, and these were excellent colonists. 
The rest of the population was well sifted indeed. It was com- 
posed of men who had left their European homes because their 
religious, social, political, or economic ideals were too large for 
their surroundings, men who were sufficiently sturdy in mind and 
body to overcome the perils and hardships of voyage and settle- 
ment. The evidence is clear that in mental capacity, physical 
qualities, and moral stamina these settlers were among the best 
of their race and that the 1790 population was, in the main, of 
excellent stock. 

Finally, the conditions of life were such that this population 
was not merely assimilated, but fused. The frontier life with its 
dangers, hardshipsVand informal society ; with its cultivation of 
the capacity for self-government and of the spirit of self-reliance ; 
with its necessity for the breaking away from old world traditions 
and performing tasks under American conditions, took but a gen- 
eration to weld the population into one people, and even in the more 
settled regions the same forces served as a strong fusing agent. 


Such was the 1790 population. Mainly English, certainly 
Baltic, of excellent stock, rapidly becoming fused and amalga- 
mated, for one half century these people reproduced their kind 
and developed a national life and character. They increased with 
f great rapidity an averagejrate of over 34 per centjlecade by 
! decade until the population that had number edTbut 3,900,000 
in 1790 was over 17,000,000 in 1840. In this entire period the 
immigration they received was of the same Baltic type and was 
insignificant in amount, for the total immigration from 1776 to 
1820 did not exceed 250,000 and the great immigration did not 
x begin until 1845. 

This, then, is the people upon whom immigration is to work 
its racial effects. Our next task is to estimate the volume and 
character of the immigration. It is evident that our immigration 
has come in waves, each larger than its predecessor, and since 
so much of the total inflow since 1820 is recent, the more far- 
reaching effects are to be realized in the future. It is further 
evident that a great change has taken place in the character and 
conditions of immigration. This question of changed character 
opens a bitter controversy. Upon the one side are those who 
point out that in the early immigration there were many un- 
satisfactory elements. Upon the other side are those who contend 
that to-day we are not only receiving inferior races, we are 
getting the inferior classes of these races, and they refer to the 
immigrants of to-day as the beaten men of beaten races. Let us, 
if possible, steer clear of this controversy. Both sides will, of 
course, agree that there has been a change in the racial origin of 
our immigration. Both sides will, probably, further agree that the 
earlier immigrants were subjected to a sifting process that does 
not apply to those of to-day. The nature of the causes of the 
early immigration and the hard conditions of voyage and settle- 
ment produced that sifting and sorting of the earlier period which, 
according to Professor Ripley , resulted in our securing immigrants 
physically above the average of the peoples from whom they came 
and which must have similar effects upon mental and moral 

Both sides will probably further agree -that a change has 
occurred in the conditions in this country. For, while we still 
have many forces making for assimilation and while some of 


these forces are stronger than ever, nevertheless the immigrant of 
to-day comes to a land where there is a labor problem, where the 
free public lands which permitted the dispersion of his predeces- 
sors and were the escape valve of the nation, are no longer avail- 
able, where such development has taken place that we are now 
turning back upon ourselves, where the social organism has be- 
come so large that the formation of inner classes is readily possi- 
ble, and where such concentration of nationalities has already | 
taken place that many assimilative forces haveTbeen seriously \ 
impeded. In this connection it should be noted that the changes 
which have taken place in this country are of such a kind and 
character that they will be more and not less pronounced in the 
years to come. 

In our discussion thus far we have seen the character of 
the population upon which immigration was to work its effects 
and we have seen the volume and the changed conditions of that 
immigration. We come now to our third problem, the outcome, 
the, race effects, fcet u"s again avoid controversial matters as far 
as may be. Clearly there are but two great elements to 'w con- 
sidered. One of these is heredity; that is, the permanent race 
traits and characteristics of those who form and are to form ow 
population. The other is environment, both social and physical. 

Now since the changed character of immigration has been a 
thing comparatively recent let us hinge our further discussion 
upon this fact of changed character and inquire : ist. What were 
the effects of the earlier immigration? 2d. What are to be the 
effects of the present and future immigration? 

As to the racial effects of the earlier immigration time will 
only permit a couple of propositions that I am content to let 
stand or fall according to their own inherent reasonableness. 

The first of these propositions is that the early immigrant 
did not produce any very serious racial change, (i) His environ- 
ment was such as to render him entirely American. The qualities 
possessed both by him and by his new home rendered assimilation 
easy and rapid. (2) His racial traits were practically identical 
with the racial traits of those whom he found here. He was 
Baltic (undoubtedly there were some bad elements in this early 
tide, however) and he was but added to a Baltic population. 
(3) His method of selection was, upon the whole, most excellent , 


We have already seen that, by the very force of circumstances, 
those early immigrants were physically, mentally, and .morally 
the pick of the nations from which they came. True it is that at 
certain times undesirable classes came, but perhaps this may 
not have been so much an argument against the entire body as 
an argument for some sane restriction or regulation of immigra- 
tion even at this early period. 

The second proposition is that while the earlier immigration 
did not, in the elements it contributed, produce serious racial 
change, it is at least an open question as to whether it did not 
check the increase of the population of colonial descent. That 
there has been a great decline in the birth rate of the original 
(colonial) stock there can be no possible doubt. Had no decline 
taken place, our population from native stock alone would to-day 
amount to some 100,000,000 and the element of " colonial de- 
scent" would to-day be three times as large as the element of 
" immigrant descent," according to some authorities. 

But was this decline due to immigration? In answering this 
question, it should be frankly recognized upon the one hand that 
if immigration did so operate, it was doubtless but one of several 
forces acting in the same direction, though possibly a very im- 
portant one. It should be as frankly recognized, upon the other 
hand, that it is never possible to establish with mathematical ex- 
actness a relation of cause and effect in elusive social phenomena. 
All that can be done is to present the usual evidence and each 
must be convinced or not convinced according to his estimate of 
the value of the evidence. 

1. Part of this evidence is the evidence of authority, that is, 
the statements of many families and many earnest students, in 
short, those in a position to know, as to what has taken place. 
There may be said to be a very considerable agreement upon this 

2. But aside from the evidence of authority, it is urged that 
what little we understand of the laws of population and its in- 
crease renders it quite probable that a causal connection should 
exist between immigration and the checking of native increase. 
It is argued that the presence of the immigrant and his compe- 
tition should be expected to give a sentimental and an economic 
cause for a check to the increase of population, a generalization 


that would apply with particular force to our original Baltic 
stock which had great race pride and a strong desire to give its 
children every advantage. 

3. It is further pointed out that the decline of the native 
stock began and kept pace with the flow of immigration. This 
may, of course, have been a coincidence, but the facts are beyond 
dispute that in the period from 1790-1830, a period of practically 
no immigration, our population increased decade by decade at 
an average rate of 34.5 per cent, while in the period from 1830- 
1860, a period of great immigration, the native stock retarded 
its increase so that the average rate of increase of the whole 
population was only 34.7 per cent. 

4. Again, it is urged that, as far as can be determined, 
this decline in the native stock took place mainly in those regions 
in which the immigrants concentrated. This, also, may have 
been a coincidence, but it does seem possible to trace a connection * 
between large families of native stock and districts not invaded 
by immigration. It seems to be true of whole sections such as the 
South, of single states such as West Virginia, and even of small 
districts within states. 

5. Another argument that is advanced is that in the period 
1830-1860, the time when the checking of the native stock began, 
other causes for this checking are hard to establish. It is pointed 
out that this was a period more favorable to life and reproduction 
than was the period before 1830. The pressure of city life was 
not yet heavily felt, for even in 1850 the urban population was 
but 12.5 per cent of the total; the average density of popula- 
tion was only 7.9 per square mile ; there were great areas of 
public lands open, and, further, great progress had been made in 
medicine, food, and clothing. And yet it is in this period that 
the native stock begins to limit its increase. 

6. A final bit of evidence rests upon the recent investiga- 
tions of population in the coal fields. These investigations seem 
to indicate that even as the earlier immigrant checked the increase 
of native stock, so the immigrant of to-day is checking the in- 
crease of the earlier immigrant stock. If this be true, its impor- 
tance can scarcely be overestimated, for it would indicate that 
immigration not only has been, but will continue to be, a process 
of replacement rather than of addition. It puts us face to face 


with a vital question as to the future composition of our 

By way of final statement as to the effect of our early im- 
migration it seems pretty clear that, while undoubtedly it con- 
tained elements not ideal, it did not produce racial change be- 
cause, Baltic itself, it was added to a Baltic population in such a 
way and under such conditions that it was readily assimilated. 
It is not so certain, however, but that it did cause a decline of 
the native birth rate and so served to replace our native popu- 
lation, and whether this was desirable or no each must decide 
for himself. 

We come now to the effects, present and future, of the Alpine 
and Mediterranean immigration to-day. Time will permit only 
\ a series of short propositions concerning this recent immigration. 

1. As far as can be predicted to-day, the change in the 
character of immigration is to become more marked and its vol- 
ume is to increase. The origin of our immigration is swinging 
more and more to the east and, judging from the data now at 
hand, such as the trend of statistics, the lines of steamship devel- 
opment, the tapping of new centers of population in Asia by 
railroad lines, the attitude of the immigrants, and investigations 
such as those of Mr. Brandenburg, judging from this and other 
data, unless conditions change or restriction takes place, it is not 
merely present immigration but that of ten or fifteen years hence 
that should command our attention. Under present laws and 
regulations this immigration will doubtless continue to flow as 
long as there is any difference of level in the status of Europe 
and America. Mr. Bryce called this "drainage," and Prof. 
Walker referred to it as "pipe line immigration." We need not 

/ commit ourselves to these rather offensive terms, but we cannot 

1 close our eyes to the fact that the essential features of the propo- 

\ sition are fairly defensible. Inasmuch as there is great doubt 

I whether emigration from Europe has in the least diminished the 

pressure of population or has greatly raised the standard of 

living there, the possible proportions of the problem are fairly 

j clearly indicated. 

2. Assuming these conditions of changed character and 
increased volume, there will undoubtedly be considerable racial 
change. Indeed, competent authorities assert that a change is 


already noticeable in regions in which our newer immigrants 
have concentrated. If this be true to-day there can be little 
doubt but that the future has in store considerable changes if the 
tide of immigration flows unchecked. And this will be especially 
the case if it be true that immigration so affects the principle of 
population that our present stock is replaced rather than supple- 
mented by the new arrivals. 

3. The third proposition must be put in the form of a 
question. Will this changejbe a, good or a bad one? Here, of 
course, is tlie crux of the whole matter. In order to avoid a con- 
troversy that could not possibly be satisfactorily treated in the 
time at my disposal, I am sure I shall be pardoned if I merely 
indicate some of the questions to be answered if one is to arrive 
at a sane judgment on this matter. Discussion of these questions 
may the more readily be omitted since practically every one has 
already reached some conclusion as to most of them. 

But before proposing this series of questions it should be 
noted that it is not safe to try to reach any conclusion by that 
overworked argument as to the mixture of races. The trouble 
with the argument is that it proves nothing either way. It proves 
nothing historically, contrary to public opinion, for while some 
mixed races have been successful, others have been most wretched 
failures. Further, anthropology and ethnology frankly admit 4 
they can predicate nothing frorrTrmxture of races, nothing opti- j 
mistic, nothing pessimistic. It is simply an argument of little or ] 
no scientific value. 

We must abandon the popular mixture of races argumenl^-y 
and turn to the fundamental elements of the problem ; upon the 
one hand environment, both social and physical, upon the other 
hand race characteristics. Since the physical environment is a 
matter which we can control but little and one that operates upon 
all, we may omit it in this discussion and then the questions to 
be answered are fairly obvious. Are the permanent racial char- 
acteristics, those they will retain after they, have changed na- 
tionality, religion, tongue, and customs, are these permanent 
racial characteristics of the newcomers such as will be satisfactory 
to a democracy ? Are they by racial disposition fitted or unfitted 
for the exercise of political rights ? Undoubtedly, they, like all 
other peoples, have some bad qualities. Will these qualities 



change with a change of environment, or are they inbred and 
permanent? Suppose, for the sake of the argument, that immi- 
gration means replacement, are we willing to turn over to ele- 
ments other than Baltic the control of the future of the nation ? 
Would it be a good, a bad, or an indifferent thing if in the future 
the race composition of this nation should be such that the Baltic 
element would, compared with the other elements, hold some 
such position as the descendants of colonial stock hold? In 
a word, are the permanent race traits of the newcomers equal 
in quality to those of. the present stock ? We must remember 
that, as Professor Commons says, "race and heredity form the 
raw material, education and environment form the tools to 
fashion social institutions." 

And as to environment. Here a series of questions arises, 
and to discuss any one of them in even a cursory manner would 
require a whole paper in itself. It deals with the effect of the 
present immigrant upon a list of matters ranging through disease, 
illiteracy, pauperism, crime, tendency to form classes, standard 
of living, and a host of others, not the least important of which 
is the fact that since the so-called lower classes are the classes 
with large families, from the racial point of view it is highly 
worth considering who are to compose the lower classes. Then, 
too, we should not forget that the future aspects of this problem 
are the important ones. Suppose, for the sake of the argument 
at least, that the number coming is to increase and the change in 
racial origin to become more marked, what then? These are 
some of the questions to be considered. 

And must the whole discussion end with a question? Yes 
and no. As far as it can be treated in a short paper merely in- 
tended to outline the nature of the problem yes, though that 
is doubtless displeasing to the mind that demands a short, satis- 
factory answer, whether true or false. But the matter is not 
altogether indefinite. Some few things are pretty clear: (i) 
This people, before the great tides of immigration began, was 
mainly Baltic and mainly of excellent stock. (2) This people has 
been influenced to a considerable degree by immigration. Prob- 
ably the racial effects of the early immigration were not great, 
but to-day conditions are different. There has been a change in 
the racial origin of our immigration, a change in the method of 



selection, and a change in the conditions of this country. (3) If 
present conditions, laws, and tendencies continue (a large "if," 
this), there will clearly be considerable racial change in the future. 
Whether such a change would be a good or a bad thing, each 
must decide for himself, and it rests with the American people to 
decide whether for their own interests and for the interests of the 
world in general they desire the change. 




THE line of least resistance in extending the protection of the 
state over labor conditions has been to enact laws with 
respect, to women and children. The world-old instinct of the 
strong to shelter the weak has led the conservative to join forces 
with the radical, in prohibiting child labor and in shortening the 
hours of women's work. On the other hand the liberty loving 
tradition of a male democracy has more often than not thrown 
the balance on the other side of the scale when the exercise of 
public control over men's labor has been under discussion. 

This tendency has been repeated in the movement toward mini- 
mum wage legislation. The voluntary Massachusetts law which 
goes into effect this year concerns women and children ; and so, 
too, does the compulsory statute which has just passed the 
Oregon legislature. Public discussion the past winter has centered 
around relation between the low. wages paid working girls and 

Accident legislation is an exception to this tendency in the field 
of labor legislation. We do not think of limiting compensation 
laws to the girls who lose an eye or a hand ; we are perhaps 
even more concerned that industry bear its human wear and tear 
when workingmen are crippled or their lives snuffed out. The 
explanation is, of course, a simple one; in this connection we 
conceive of the workingman as the breadwinner of a family 
group ; and in self -protection American commonwealths are 
belatedly devising schemes of insurance which will safeguard 
those dependent upon him. 

J As we come to look at the problem of living wages more closely, 
Jmy belief is that legislatures and courts will increasingly take 

1 From the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 
July, 1913. 



cognizance of the household and community well-being which 
hangs on the earnings of men. It is this aspect which makes the 
question of the minimum wage as it concerns common labor 
;,nd as it is aggravated by immigration if anything, more 
serious than the question of the minimum wage as it concerns 

We have seen whole cities scotched by the floods. Our self- 
er grossed neglect of the water courses of the midwestern basin, 
tho encroachments of private holdings upon the beds of streams, 
and the persistent stripping of their woodsy sources have brought 
a retribution. The nation leaps to tardy relief as the waters 
bur^t the dams, strangle men and women, and swamp the cities in 
their course. Dwellings go under before men's eyes and whole 
communities which have taken their security for granted see 
store and street and familiar meeting place sunk in currents over 
which t'vey have lost control. It has all been spectacular and 
vivid. Ti e laws of gravitation and of fluids, the "Mene, Mene, 
Tekel" of LTIOW private ends and of public preoccupation have 
been written . irge in mud and privation. Misery has daubed its 
lesson up and dovvn the river valleys for all men to read. 

The economic ebb and flood of our common life has usually no 
such spectacular appeal to the imagination ; yet, if we turn to the 
forty volumes of the federal immigration commission volumes 
which, seemingly, Congress has done its best to keep from general 
reading we find a story of household wreckage and of the slow 
undermining of community life as real as this seven days' wonder 
of the Ohio Valley. They show us that in the states east of the 
Rocky Mountains the basic industries are to-day manned by 
foreigners three to two ; that there are as many names on these 
pay-rolls from eastern Europe and Asia as there are names of 
native-born and second generation Americans put together. They 
do not show that the new immigrants have hired out as common 
laborers for less pay than the old did in their time, for the revolu- 
tionary rise in prices throughout the period under discussion 
must be taken into account. But they go far to show that the 
newcomers have at least kept down wages and have perpetuated 
other standards against which the older men were ready to 
protest. Of the heads of foreign households tabulated by the 
commission, seven out of ten earned less than $600 a year, 


while among the native-born the proportion was only four out cf 
ten. Of the foreigners very nearly four out of ten earned undt;r 
$400 a year, or an average, this last year, of less than $1.50 per 
working day. In less than four out of ten of the foreign-born 
households were the husband's earnings depended upon as the 
sole sources of family income. 

^ In a word, the immigration commission's report was an ext m- 
sive exhibit that the American day laborer's pay is less thaa a 
living wage for a workman's family by any standard set by any 
reputable investigation of the cost of living; that the bultc of 
day laborers are immigrants ; that their numbers and industrial 
insecurity are such as to perpetuate these low pay levels and to 
introduce and make prevalent lower standards of living- than 
customary among the workmen they come among. 

The commission's figures are such as to give strength to the 
searching charge of the immigration res trie tionists th? r c "so long 
as every rise of wages operates merely to suck in unlimited thou- 
sands of the surplus population of Europe and Asia . no permanent 
raising of our own standards can be hoped for.' 

Nine out of ten of the common laborers of America are to-day 
of the new immigration. A light is thrown on why they lend 
themselves to exploitation by the facts that before coming only 
a third of these eastern Europeans and Asians can read and 
write ; that half are peasants and farm hands ; that only an 
ighth are labor unionists ; and that nearly afif th have never in 
their lives worked at wages. Neither in literacy^ industrial skill, 
money-wisdom, nor cohesive strength are they as self-resourceful 
as the men of the immigration which preceded them, much less of 
the native-born. More important to my mind than the fact that 
before coming a third are unlettered, is the fact that nearly a 
fifth have never worked for wages before coming. 

We have assumed that the economic law of supply and demand 
would bring a wholesome equilibrium to this inrush of the terrible 
flood. As well count on trie law of gravitation to solve the flood 
problem of the Miami. That law is, to be sure, the ultimate rule 
of physics on which any scheme of flood prevention must be 
based. Water is health-giving, thirst-quenching, power-giving, 
beneficial ; gravity holds the world to its course ; but left to their 
own devices water and mass attraction may become brute forces 


for destruction. So, too, the unregulated forces of an economic 

Let us consider some of the social reactions which these forces, 
left to their own devices, have exacted. 

They have changed the make-up of entire communities among 
us. During the Westmoreland coal strike, whole villages of 
miners were evicted with their families from the company houses 
and new miners installed. But what happened thus overtly in 
strike time has been going on slowly and half -noticed throughout 
western Pennsylvania for twenty years. The function of the 
old pick miners has been largely done away with. With the 
coming in of new methods and mine machinery, their labor 
organizations have been driven out, and they, themselves, have 
left the Connellsville region for the new fields of the middle West 
and Southwest, where the pressure of competition by recent 
immigrants is not so strong. Churches, lodges, the whole slow- 
growing fabric of English-speaking community life, have been 
supplanted by a new order. And not only have the immigrants 
dislodged the earlier races from their footing, but their own indus- 
trial tenure is insecure. Dwellers in company houses, whole 
communities, live by sufferance of the mine operators who can 
call in new greeners to take their places. 

The effect on household life has been as disturbing as that upon 
community life. At these low economic grades people live on the 
boarding boss system, one woman cooking, washing, and keeping 
house for from two to twenty lodgers who sometimes sleep two 
shifts to a bed. 

It might be thought that the immigrants' desire to save is 
responsible for these results. In part that is true. As the Pitts- 
burgh survey pointed out, a single man can lay by a stocking 
full at this barracks life ; a boarding boss can get ahead at cost 
of a dead baby or two, or his wife's health ; a whole family can 
eat, sleep, and live in a single room ; but the foreigner who takes 
America in earnest and tries to settle here and support a family, 
must figure closer than our wisest standard of living experts 
have been able to do, if he succeeds in making good on a day 
labor wage. The Buffalo survey found #1.50 as the common 
labor rate in that city in 1910. The maximum income which a 
common laborer can earn working every day but Sundays and 


holidays at $i .50 per day is #450 a year ; bad weather, slack work 
and sickness, cut this down to #400 for a steady worker Yet the 
lowest budget for a man, his wife and three children which Buffalo 
relief workers would tolerate was $560^ There is a deficit here of 
#160 which must be made up by 'skimping or by income from other 
sources, and that deficit is as much as the man himself can earn by 
four months' solid labor. Yet this budget called for but three 
small rooms, for five people, to sleep, eat, and live in ; called for 
but 5 cents a week for each one of the family for recreation and 
extravagance. How people make shift against such odds was 
illustrated by one household where in a little room 6 feet by 9, 
a room which had no window at all to let in air, they found two 
cots each with a man in it, and a bed which held two young 
men and two girls, one of whom was thirteen years old. This 
was not a house of prostitution. It was a family which had 
taken in lodgers to increase its income. 

Household and community life are further affected by the in- 
filtration of women-employing trades in centers of immigrant 
employment; and with it the spread of the family wage, not 
the family wage earned by the man, but the family wage earned 
by man, woman, and children all together, such as is the curse of 
Fall River and the cotton towns of Massachusetts. 

The New York bureau of labor statistics has just issued its 
report on the Little Falls strike, the first adequate pay roll 
investigation ever made in New York at the time of a strike 
against a reduction in wages. Nearly half of the men were found 
to be receiving #9 a week or less. Nearly 24 per cent were 
receiving not over #7.50 per week ; 48^- per cent of all the women 
employed were receiving $7.50 or less and 30 per cent received 
#6 or less. The official figures taken from the pay rolls by the 
bureau of labor statistics tended to justify substantially what the 
strikers had alleged as to their wages. The testimony of the 
employers before the bureau of arbitration that the wages 
paid in Little Falls were not less than those paid in other mills 
in the district indicates that here is a problem not of one locality 
alone. "The one outstanding and unavoidable conclusion of this 
report," says the bureau of labor statistics, "is that there is need 
of a thorough and general investigation of the cost of living among 
the textile workers of the Mohawk Valley." 


This trend toward the family wage is a matter of much concern 
to the state of Pennsylvania in the years ahead, with the coming of 
textile mills to the coal regions, and with the widespread develop- 
ment of the state's water power. I was told at the time of the 
strike in the railroad shops at Altoona it may be hearsay, 
but there was truth in the underlying tendency that in the 
councils of the local Chamber of Commerce the Pennsylvania 
Railroad had been averse to inducing any metal trades establish- 
ments to settle in Altoona. The reason ascribed by my informant 
was that these establishments would have competed as em- 
ployers in hiring mechanics and the men's wages would have 
gone up locally. But invitation to textile mills was encouraged 
- textile mills which would employ wives and daughters and 
increase family incomes while lessening the tuggingsTal the car 
shop pay roll. 

Let me cite a case brought out last year at a hearing before 
the New Jersey immigration commission. This was an account 
book of a methodical German weaver in a Passaic woolen mill. 
It illustrates the soil in which the revolutionary labor movement 
is taking root so fast and which the sanctioned institutions of 
society, in more than this solitary instance, have failed to con- 
serve. The man is forty-five years old, a weaver of twenty- 
seven years' experience, and his expertness as a workman is, it 
was said, shown by the fact that he had seldom or never been 
fined for flaws in his work one of the grievances most keenly 
felt by a majority of the strikers. The record showed a total 
income of $347.40 for nine months. And a careful estimate 
put the annual earnings on which this father of thirteen three 
now " under the ground," three now old enough to work could 
count upon from his own efforts in bringing up his family, as 
less than $500. 

The record revealed much else, good and bad, besides this 
blighting total. In the first place it showed the seasons. Except 
in bad years the woolen trade is said to have no period of shut 
down. But July and August are slack months and the short 
hours worked flattened out his pay envelopes for weeks at. a time. 
Settlement and charity organization workers know that there 
is nothing that tends toward demoralization in a family like an 
unsteady income up and down. No pay at all was received by 


this weaver for the week of June 12 (fifty-five hours' work). 
His explanation was that some wool is bad and requires constant 
mending, keeping the output low, .that pay was strictly based 
on the number of yards turned out, and that no payments were 
made until a certain quantity was on hand. This no-pay week 
was followed by a low pay week of June 19. That is, after two 
weeks' work amounting to no hours at the looms, with practi- 
cally no fines for flaws, a weaver of twenty-seven years' experience 
took home #6.65. It is this SQrt_of^ pressure which sends the 
women and children of a householdto the mills. 

IWeTmay differ as to the desirability of the 'entry of women into 
industry, and as to its- effect on the women and on the home ; 
but we should be united in holding that if the women go into 
the world's work, their earnings should lift the joint income to 
new and higher levels, and not merely supplement the less than 
family wage paid the man ; add two and two, only to find that the 
resulting sum is two. 

It is to be said for this onrush of international workmen that 
they have supplied a flexible working force to American manu- 
facture and have stimulated industrial expansion beyond all 
bounds. But against these gains must be set off the fact that they 
have as powerfully accentuated city congestion and all its attend- 
ant evils, and have aggravated unemployment. The immigra- 
tion commission found that in some industries the oversupply of 
unskilled labor had reached a point where a curtailed number of 
working days results in a yearly income much less than is indi- 
cated by the daily rate paid. 

A more serious aspect of the situation is that changes in machin- 
ery are adapted to the permanent utilization of these great 
masses of crude labor 60 per cent of the whole force in steel 
production for example. The old time ditch diggers and railroad 
construction gangs paved the way for our city trades and train 
crews. They were building foundations for normal work and 
life. They appealed to the get ahead qualities in men. The 
new day labor is a fixed, subnormal element in our present 
scheme of production fit stays yit will "continue to stay so long as 
back muscles are cheaper than other methods of doing the work. 

My own feeling is that immigrants bring us ideals, cultures, 
red blood, which are an asset for America or would be if we gave 


them a chance. But what is undesirable, beyond all peradven- / 
ture, is our great bottom-lands of gmVk-cash T low-mcorne^em- 
ployments in which they are bogged. X We suffer not because 
the immigrant comes with a cultural deficit, but because the 
immigrant workman brings to America a potential economic 
surplus above a single man's wants, which is exploited to the 
grave and unmeasured injury of family and community life 
among us. 

I have reviewed the situation much along the lines in which it 
impressed me two years ago, at a time that the immigration report 
was first given to the public. What have we done about it in those / 
two years or for that matter, in the last decade ? 

What have we Americans done ? I am afraid the cartoonist of j 
the future is going to have good cause to draw the present day 1 
manufacturer pleading with one hand for federal interference \ 
against his foreign competitors, and with the other beckoning to I 
the police to protect him against strike riots ; but resisting with \ 
both hands every effort of the public to exert any control what- 1 
ever over his own dealings with his work people. Petty magis- 
trates and police, state militia and the courts all these were 
brought to bear by the great commonwealth of Massachusetts, 
once the Lawrence strikers threatened the public peace. But 
what had the great commonwealth of Massachusetts done to 
protect the people of Lawrence against the insidious canker of 
subnormal wages which were and are blighting family life? Do 
not mistake me : The exceptional employer has done courageous 
acts in standing out for decent wages in the face of competition 
from those who are not squeamish in their treatment of their 
help; but employers as a body have quite failed to impose 
minimum standards on the whole employing group; and the 
exploiters have brought whole trades into obloquy. 

Nor have the trade-unions met any large responsibility toward 
unskilled labor. Through apprenticeship, skill, organization, they 
have endeavored to keep their own heads above the general 
level. Common labor has been left as the hindmost for the 
devil to take. The mine workers and brewers and some few other 
trades are organized industrially from top to bottom, every man 
in the industry ; but for the most part common laborers have 
had to look elsewhere than to the skilled crafts for succor. 



They have had it held out to them by the I. W. W., which 
stands for industrial organization, for one big union embracing 
every man in the industry, for the mass strike, for benefits to 
the rank and file here and now, and not in some far-away political 
upheaval. This is what has given the revolutionary industrialists 
their popular appeal, so disturbing both to the old craft unions 
and the socialist party. We may or may not like the temper of 
Mrs. Pankhurst's methods, but we recognize the suffrage cause 
as something which transcends the tactics of the militants. In 
the same way it can be said for Haywood and his following that 
they have sounded the needs of common labor and held up hope 
for its rank and file with greater statesmanship, sympathy, and 
structural vision than all the employers and craft unions put 
together. At such a juncture the ordinary American may well 
ask himself if a general upheaval of society is the sole way open 
in which the evils of unskilled, low-paid labor can be mastered 
by a resourceful people. 

The only recent schemes of trade organization which match 
the I. W. W. in democratic promise are the protocol agreements 
in the women's garment trades in New York. These are open to 
all workmen in the trades ; they stand for minimum standards, 
and they employ the joint force of organized employers and 
organized employees, to whip the black-sheep shop into line. 
Yet as I see it, here again the pressure of immigration is a twofold 
threat to the permanence of these plans the competition with 
New York by outside garment centers where immigrants can 
be exploited without let or hindrance; and the retardation of 
wage advances at New York due to the glut of immigrant labor 
at the great port. 

So much for voluntary action. What has the state done to 
throw social control over common labor? Very little. Child 
labor legislation staves off a season or two the inflow of immature 
workers into the unskilled labor market. Laws prohibiting the 
night work of women have eased the sex-competition for jobs 
at some few points. As already stated, minimum wage legis- 
lation has been limited to date to women and children. When by 
indirection the new 54 hour law for women tended to raise pay 
for both men and women in the mills of Lawrence, the manu- 
facturers risked the great strike rather than raise it. Political 


advantage has led city administrations to pay common labor 
more than private employers, but in general the public has done ) 
nothing to control the wages of common labor. 

The measure calculated to affect them most markedly has been 
the immigration restriction legislation which passed both houses 
of Congress at the last session, but which was vetoed by the 

The immigrant commission held that to check the oversupply 
of unskilled labor a sufficient number of immigrants should be J 
debarred to produce a marked effect. This was their major / 
recommendation, and as the most feasible method to carry it out ^ 
they favored the exclusion of all those unable to read and write 
some language. 

As a quantitative check this literacy test can be successfully 
defended. It will unquestionably shut out large numbers of 
immigrants and that reduction in the gross number of job- 
hunters could scarcely fail to raise common labor pay and im- 
prove conditions of life at the lowest levels. 
^ As a selective method the literacy test has been sharply and I 
think successfully challenged. The people let in and those shut 
out could not be confidently described, the one group as desirable, 
the other as not. 

As an obstruction to the political and religious refugees, who in 
addition to their other oppressions have been deprived of school- 
ing, the literacy test arouses the opposition of social and liberty- 
loving groups on all hands. On this rock restriction legislation 
split on the last Congress, as it has split for years past. 

In its failure, in the failure of any other proposal to materially 
improve common labor standards I venture to put forward a 
plan which has not been combated in any quarter in ways 
convincing to me either as to its illogic or its impracticability. 

My plea is to apply the principle of child labor legislation to our 
industrial immigration to draft into our immigration law the 
provision that no immigrant who arrives here after a specified 
date shall be permitted to hire out to a corporate employer for 
less than a living wage say $2.50 or $3 a day until five years 
are elapsed and he has become a naturalized citizen. When he 
is a voter, he can sell his American work-right for a song if he 
must and will, but until then he shall not barter it away for less 



than the minimum cash price, which shall/ be determined as a 
subsistence basis for American family livelihood. I would make 
this provision apply also to all immigrants now resident in the 
United States who have not filed notice of their intention of 
becoming citizens by the date specified. 

It would not be the intent or result of such legislation to pay 
new-coming foreigners $3 a day. No corporation could hire 
Angelo Lucca and Alexis Spivak for $3 as long as they could get 
John Smith and Michael Murphy and Carl Sneider for less. It 
would be the intent and result of such legislation to exclude 
Lucca and Spivak and other "greeners" from our congregate 
industries, which beckon to them now. It would leave village 
and farming country open to them as now. And meanwhile as 
the available unskilled labor supply fell off in our factory centers, 
the wages paid Smith, Murphy, Sneider and the rest of our resi- 
dent unskilled labor would creep up toward the federal minimum. 

First a word as to the constitutionality of such a plan. It 
would be an interference with the freedom of contract ; but that 
contract would lie between an alien and a corporation, between 
a non-citizen and a creature of the state. I have the advice of 
constitutional lawyers that so far as the alien workman goes, the 
plan would hold as an extension of our laws regulating immigra- 
tion. On the other hand, the corporation tax laws afford a 
precedent for setting off the corporate employer and regulating 
his dealings. Recent decisions of the supreme court would 
seem to make it clear that such a law could be drafted under the 
interstate commerce clause of the constitution. 

For three special reasons my belief is that the general enforce- 
ment of such a law would be comparatively simple. Sworn state- 
ments as to wage payments could be added to the data now 
required from corporations under the federal tax law. This would 
be an end desirable in itself and of as great public importance 
as crop reports. In the second place, every resident worker would 
report every violation that affected his self-interest or threatened 
his job. For my third reason, I would turn to no less a counsel 
than Mark Twain's "Pudd'n Head Wilson," and with employ- 
ment report cards and half a dozen clerks in a central office in 
Washington, could keep tab on the whole situation by means of 
finger prints. Finger prints could be taken of each immigrant 


on entry ; they could be duplicated at mill gate and mine entry 
by the employer, filed and compared rapidly at the Washington 

As compared with joint minimum wage boards affecting men 
and women alike, as do those of Australia and England, the 
plan would have the disadvantage of not being democratic. 
The workers themselves would not take part in its administration. 
But such boards might well develop among resident unskilled 
labor, once the congestion of immigrant labor was relieved. 
And 'the plan would have the signal advantage of being national, 
so that progressive commonwealths need not penalize their 
manufacturers in competing with laggard states. 

As compared with the literacy test the plan would not shut 
America off as a haven of refuge and would not, while it was 
under discussion, range the racial societies and the international- 
ists alongside the steamship companies and the exploiters of 
immigrant labor. And it would have an even more profound 
influence on our conditions of life and labor. 

What then are the positive goods to be expected from such a 
program ? 

1 . It would, to my mind, gradually but irresistibly cut down 
the common labor supply in our industrial centers. 

2. Once the unlimited supply of green labor was lessened in 
these industrial centers, a new and more normal equilibrium 
would be struck between common labor and the wages of com- 
mon labor. Now it is like selling potatoes when everybody's 
bin is full. 

3. It would tend to stave off further congestion in the centers 
of industrial employment and give us a breathing spell to conquer 
our housing problems and seat our school-children. 

4. It should shunt increasing numbers of immigrants to the 
rural districts and stimulate patriotic societies to settle their 
fellow-countrymen on the land. 

5. It would tend to cut down the accident rate in industries 
where greeners endanger the lives of their fellows. 

6. It would cut down the crowd of men waiting for jobs at 
mill gate and street corner, correspondingly spread out rush and 
seasonal work, and help along toward that time when a man's 
vocation will mean a year-long income for him. 


7. It would give resident labor in the cities a chance to 
organize at the lower levels and develop the discipline of self- 
government instead of mob action. 

8. It would put a new and constructive pressure on employers 
to cut down by invention the bulk of unskilled occupations, the 
most wasteful and humanly destructive of all work. 

9. It would bring about a fair living, a household wage, in 
such routine and semi-skilled occupations as remained. 

10. It would tend to change mining settlements and mill 
towns from sleeping and feeding quarters into communities. 



THE present year has witnessed an immigration to this 
country greater than any that has ever occurred in the 
history of any nation. During the year ending June 30, 1903, 
857,000 people from various parts of the world landed at the 
ports of the United States and either settled in the seaboard 
cities or made their way into the interior. At no time in the 
history of the world has a movement of such stupendous pro- 
portions taken place. The immigrants to this country in the 
single year 1903 were probably much in excess of the total 
number of arrivals in the present territory of the United States 
during the two centuries from 1607 to 1820. 

The movement of immigrants from Europe to the United 
States during the last three generations has dwarfed by com- 
parison all former movements of populations. During this period 
over twenty million immigrants have landed on these shores. 
These men, hailing from all the countries of Europe and of the 
world, have peopled the vast territory of the United States, 
have intermarried with one another and with the native stock, 
and have formed the American nation as it exists to-day. In 
the cities of our seaboard, in the Middle West, on the trans- 
Mississippi prairies, and throughout the broad expanse of our 
Northwest, in almost every state north of Mason and Dixon's 
line, and extending from the Atlantic, to the Pacific, large sections 
of the population are either foreign-born or the children of 
immigrants. In the year 1900 there were over ten million persons 
in the United States of foreign birth and over twenty-six million 
of foreign birth or foreign parentage. About two fifths of all 
the white inhabitants of the United States are the sons or 
daughters of parents one or both of whom are foreign-born. 
These immigrants and children of immigrants represent some of 
the best elements in the American population, and the American 



citizens of foreign birth and parentage are, on an average, as 
patriotic, as loyal, and as valuable citizens as those of native 

The tide of immigration to the United States has had many ebbs 
and flows. Immigration has steadily increased, reaching a 
maximum point in periods of prosperity and falling off greatly 
in periods of depression. In the year 1854 immigration reached 
a high water mark with the arrival of 428,000, and in 1882 
789,000 landed. This point was not again reached until the 
present year, 1903, when 857,000 immigrants arrived. 

Within the last two decades a change has taken place in the 
character of immigration, which in the eyes of many people 
portends evil for American workmen. In the early years of 
immigration, when it was difficult, if not actually dangerous, to 
come to the United States, there was a natural selection of the 
best and hardiest inhabitants of the old world, men willing 
to risk 'their all in going to a new country. The greater ease and 
cheapness of transportation have now given a stimulus to large 
classes of persons who in former years could not have come. The 
cost of transportation and the time required have, upon the 
whole, been reduced, and the sources of immigration have also 
shifted. Formerly, the great majority of immigrants came from 
England, Ireland, Germany, and the Scandinavian countries, 
from countries, in other words, where conditions of life and labor 
were, to some extent, comparable to those of the United States. 
At the present time, the source of immigration has shifted from 
northern and western to eastern and southern Europe, and from 
men with a higher to men with a lower standard of living. I 
do not desire to state that the moral character and mental 
capacity of the new immigrants are lower than, those of the im- 
migrants of former days ; but it is quite clear that the standard 
of living has been reduced in consequence of the change in the 
source of immigration from countries in which wages are high 
to countries in which wages are low. The amount of money 
which the average immigrant brings with him has steadily de- 
creased, and the immigrant from southern and eastern countries 
has, at the start, a smaller sum to protect him from starvation 
or the sweatshop than has the immigrant from northern or 
western Europe. The illiteracy of the immigrant has also become 


more pronounced. This illiteracy, amounting in some cases 
from sixty-five to seventy-five per cent, debars the newly arrived 
immigrant from many trades, makes it more difficult for him to 
adapt himself to American conditions and American manners of 
thought, and renders it almost inevitable that he fall into the 
hands of the sweater and exploiter. The efforts made by steam- 
ship companies to incite and overstimulate the immigration of 
thousands of illiterate peasants tend to inject unnaturally into the 
American labor market a body of men unskilled, untrained, and 
unable to resist oppression and reduced wages. 

The practically unrestricted immigration of the present day 
is an injustice both to the American workingman, whether native 
or foreign-born, and to the newly landed immigrant himself. 
As a result of this practically unrestricted and unregulated 
immigration, the congestion of our large cities is so intense as 
to create abnormally unhealthy conditions. In New York, 
which has at present a foreign-born population of over one and 
one quarter millions, the congestion has resulted in the erection of 
enormous tenement buildings, in the fearful overcrowding of the 
slums, and in the normal presence of an oversupply of unskilled 
labor. The arrival in great numbers of immigrants without 
knowledge of English, without the ability to read or write the 
language of their own country, without money, and sometimes 
without friends, renders it inevitable that they accept the first 
work offered them. The average immigrant from eastern 'and 
southern Europe brings with him from eight to ten dollars, 
which is about the railroad fare from New York to Pittsburg and 
is hardly sufficient to support him for two weeks. It is inevitable, 
also, that he remain where he lands and take the work offered 
him on the spot. The result is a supply of labor in the large 
cities in excess of a healthy demand, and a consequent lowering 
of wages, not only in the cities in which the immigrants remain, 
but in those in which the articles are produced that compete with 
the sweatshop products. 

From the point of view of the great employers of labor there 
is an apparent advantage in keeping the doors wide open. The 
great manufacturers of the country, while anxious to shut out 
the products of the pauper labor of Europe, desire to have as 
much cheap labor within their own factories as possible. The 

258 . EFFECTS 

great mine owners have eagerly taken advantage of the ever 
flowing current of low-priced labor, not only to reduce wages, 
but to hold this reserve army of unskilled workers as a cTulTOver 
the head of the great mass of employees. The immigrant who 
comes here in the hope of bettering his condition, is subjected 
to the exhausting work of the sweatshop, is forced to toil ex- 
cessively long hours under unsanitary conditions, or is compelled 
to perform work under the padrone system, and is liable to be 
exploited and defrauded in many ways. The apprenticeship of 
the newly arrived immigrant is hard indeed, but it could very 
well be remedied if the state should so regulate immigration as 
to enable the newcomer to protect himself from extortion and 

The extent to which immigration, if unrestricted, might go 
was foreshadowed by the influx of Chinese which began about a 
generation ago. For a number of years the doors of the United 
States were thrown wide open to the importation of immigrants, 
practically, if not legally, under contract, from a country with a 
population of four hundred millions. The result of this immigra- 
tion was seen in a reduction of the wages of labor upon the 
Pacific coast ; and there can be no doubt that the admission of 
Chinese, if unchecked, would have resulted in the creation of 
an enormous Mongolian population in our West and the practical 
industrial subjugation of that portion of the country by the 
Chinese. It is a well-known fact that the cheaper worker, when 
he is able to compete tends to drive out the better, just as in the 
currency of a nation, bad money will drive out good money. 
Through the activity of the trade-unions, however, the Chinese 
were, in 1882, excluded and in 1902 this law was reenacted. 

The trade-unions also secured, in the year 1885, the enactment 
of a law rendering illegal the importation of workmen under 
contract. Formerly, in the case of a strike, the employer was 
able to contract for the importation of large numbers of foreigners, 
who, with lower ideals and without any knowledge of American 
trade-unionism, took the places of the strikers and effectually 
aided the employer. The trade-unions have also been energetic 
in their attempts to secure a further regulation of the conditions 
of immigration in such a manner that both the present 
inhabitants of the United States and the immigrants who come 


will be in a better position to resist exploitation by employers 
in the sweated or unskilled trades. 

The attitude of trade-unionists upon this question favors not * 
prohibition, but regulation. The trade-unions do not desire to i 
keep out immigrants, but to raise the character and the power of I 
resistance of those who do come. There is no racial or religious \ 
animosity in this attitude of unionists. The American trade- 
unionist does not object to the immigration of men of a high 
standard of living, whether they be Turks, Russians, or Chinese, 
Catholics, Protestants, or Jews, Mohammedans, Buddhists, or 
Confucians, whether they be yellow, white, red, brown, or black. 
In certain cases, as in that of the Chinese, it was absolutely 
essential to the success of the law that it discriminate against 
the whole nation, but the attitude of the unionist was not hos- 
tility to the Chinaman, but a determination to resist the immi-" 
gration of men with a low standard, of living. 

The trade-unionist believes that the policy of regulating immi- 
gration is justifiable on both ethical and economic grounds. 
It is admitted that the immigration of the past has to a large 
extent and for a long period benefited the American working- 
man. Especially was this true during the period before the 
public domain was exhausted, when men could secure a home- 
stead for the asking. The trade-unionist also realizes that a large 
percentage of the most worthy citizens, and probably a majority 
of the white manual laborers of the United States, are either 
foreigners or sons of foreigners. The American unionist sym- 
pathizes with the oppressed workingmen of foreign countries 
and feels that everything should be done to ameliorate their 
condition, provided it does not hinder the progress of the nation 
and the welfare of the human race. Cosmopolitanism, like 
charity, begins at home. The American people should not sacri- 1 
fice the future of the working classes in order to improve the con- I 
ditions of the inhabitants of Europe, and it is even questionable j 
whether an unregulated immigration would improve the condi- 
tions of Europe and Asia, although it is certain that it would 
injure and degrade the conditions of labor in this country. 

This point might be illustrated by the supposition of an 
unrestricted immigration from China. That country has a 
population of about four hundred millions and a probable birth 



rate of about twelve millions a year. It is quite conceivable with 
unrestricted immigration and with the cheapening of fares from 
Hong Kong to San Francisco that within fifty or a hundred years 
a third of the people of the United States could be Chinese, 
without in any way reducing the population of China. The 
creation of an outlet for a million or two millions of Chinese 
immigrants each year would merely have the effect of increasing 
the birth rate in that country, with the result that within a 
century a majority of the working people of this country would 
be Chinese, while the congestion of population in the Celestial 
empire would be as great and as unrelieved as ever. To a large 
extent the progress of nations can best be secured by the~pblTcy 
of seclusion and isolation. By means of barriers which regulate, 
but do not prohibit, immigration, the various countries of Europe 
if and America can individually work out their salvation, and a 
\ permanent increase in the efficiency and remuneration of the 
workers of the world can thus be obtained. By the maintenance 
( of these barriers the best workingmen in each country can rise 
I to the top, and the great mass of the workingmen can secure a 
I larger sliare of the wealth produced. If, however, it is within the 
power of employers to drawTreely upon the labor of the world, 
while protecting their products from the competition of foreign 
manufacturers, the result will be that the workingmen of the 
world will have their wages reduced, or, at all events, will not 
have their remuneration increased, as would be possible under a 
policy regulating the importation of immigrants. 

The trade-union desires to regulate immigration partly in 
order to prevent the temporary glutting of the market, but to a 
much greater extent in order to raise the character of the men 
who enter. The glutting of the labor market through immigra- 
tion is, I believe, temporary, and not permanent. It causes a 
temporary oversupply of labor in the large cities; a breaking down 
of favorable working conditions, a disintegration of trade-unions, 
and a widespread deterioration and degradation in large circles 
of the community. Gradually, however, the market absorbs the 
fresh supply of labor, and the newly arrived immigrants create 
a demand for the products of their own work. While this tem- 
porary glutting of the market is disadvantageous and may result 
in a deterioration of the caliber of the workingman, the injury 


that comes from permitting the inflow of vast bodies of men with 
lower standards of living is infinitely worse. The policy of 
trade-unions in this matter of immigration is in perfect harmony 
with other features of trade-union government. Trade-unionism/ 
seeks not to restrict the numbers, but to raise the quality, off 
workingmen. Any one may become a bricklayer in New York! 
city, whether there be a hundred, a thousand, or five thousand,! 
but whosoever enters the trade as a unionist must agree not to) 
accept less than a certain rate and must, therefore, be an efficient! 
worker with a high standard of life. The American workingmanj 
believes that there is ample room in this country for all men who 
are able and willing to demand wages commensurate with the 
American standard of living. 

By a wise policy of restriction of immigration and by a careful 
sifting of immigrants according to their ability to earn and 
demand high wages, the country would secure annually, let us 
say, two or three or four hundred thousand good immigrants, 
instead of being forced to absorb, as at present, six or eight or 
ten hundred thousand immigrants, many of them undesirable. 
The result of this policy might lead eventually even to an actual 
increase in the number of immigrants, owing to the fact that if 
there were a wise selection of immigrants with a high standard of 
living, wages in the United States would rise to a point which 
would attract the most capable workmen of all Europe. A con- 
tingency of this sort would be looked forward to with hope rather 
than with apprehension, since the American nation need never 
fear the immigration of Europeans so long as that immigration 
does not involve or threaten a reduction in the standard of living. 

The competition of the immigrant with a low standard of 
living is felt not only in the trade, wherein the immigrant is 
employed, but in all the trades of the country. The immigrant, 
with his low rate of wages, drives out of his trade men formerly 
employed therein, who are either forced down in the scale 
of wages or else obliged to compete for work in higher occupa- 
tion, where they again reduce wages. Thifc the effect of the 
competition of immigrants is felt not only in the unskilled, but 
also in the semi-skilled and skilled trades, and even in the pro- 
fessions. The immigration of great bodies of unskilled workmen, 
moreover, of various races tends to promote and perpetuate racial 


antagonisms, and these racial jealousies are played upon by 
employers in the attempt to reduce wages, to prevent the forma- 
tion of trade-unions, and to keep the workmen apart. 

I do not desire in this book to outline what I consider reasonable 
measures of regulation for the ever-rising tide of immigration. 
The American Federation of Labor has done excellent work in 
advocating wise measures, and the work should be continued 
along these lines. Restriction, however, should be without 
prejudice and without hatred. It should be as much in the 
interest of the immigrants as in the interest of the American 
citizens of to-day, whether of native or of foreign birth. Re^ 
slriction should be democratic in its character, and should not 
exclude any man capable of earning his livelihood in America 
- at the standard union rate of wages. It should not be directed 
by racial animosity or religious prejudice, and the laws that are 
passed should protect the immigrant from deception by steam- 
ship or employment agents, as well as protect the home popu- 
lation from undesirable immigrants. The law should be so 
arranged as not needlessly to separate members of the same 
family. Finally, trade-unionists in their advocacy of immigration 
should not be actuated by a short-sighted policy, but by a 
consideration of the probable effect that such restriction will have 
upon the future prosperity of the working classes or of Americans 
in general. 

The task which trade-unions have accomplished in securing 
and enforcing laws regulating immigration has been hardly 
more important than their excellent work in raising the tone and 
increasing the efficiency of the immigrant upon his arrival. More 
than any other single factor, except the common school, the trade- 
union has succeeded in wiping out racial animosities, in uniting 
-jf men of different nationalities, languages, and religions, and in 
infusing into the newly landed immigrant American ideals and 
American aspirations. The United Mine Workers of America, 
for instance, has had marvelous success in creating harmony and 
good feeling among*its members, irrespective of race, religion, or 
nationality. The meetings of the locals are attended by members 
of different races and are addressed in two, three, or even more 
languages. The constitution and by-laws of the organization are 
printed in nine different languages, and by means of interpreters 


all parts of the body are kept in touch with one another, with 
the result that a feeling of mutual respect and confidence is 

In no other country have trade-unions had to face a problem of 
such enormous difficulty as the fusion of the members of these 
various nationalities, crude, unformed, and filled with old-world 
prejudices and antipathies. No higher tribute can be paid to 
American trade-unions than an acknowledgment of the magnifi- 
cent work which they have accomplished in this direction in 
obliterating the antagonisms bred in past centuries and in creating 
out of a heterogeneous population, brought together by the ever- 
lasting search for cheap labor, a unified people with American 
ideals and American aspirations. 



AMID all the diverse views on the various aspects of the 
immigration problem, there is coming to be a practical 
unanimity of opinion on one fundamental proposition namely, 
that immigration to-day is essentially an economic phenomenon. 
However strongly the desire for political or religious liberty, or 
the escape from tyranny, may have operated in the past to 
stimulate emigration from foreign countries, the one great motive 
of the present immigrant. is the desire to better his economic 
situation. Even in cases where political and religious oppression 
still persists, it usually expresses itself through economic dis- 
abilities. The great attraction of the United States for the 
modern immigrant lies in the economic advantages which it 
has to offer. The latest authoritative recognition of this fact 
is that given by the Immigration Commission, which emphasizes 
it in numerous places in its repqrt. If, then, immigration is so 
closely bound up with the industrial situation in this country, 
it would seem that there should be some relation between immi- 
gration and the industrial depressions or crises which are such 
a characteristic feature of our economic life. It is the purpose 
of this paper to seek to determine what this relation is. One 
aspect of the matter is perfectly obvious and has been thoroughly 
recognized for a long time, namely, that the volume of the immi- 
gration current is regulated by the industrial prosperity of this 
| country. A period of good times brings with it a large volume of 
immigration, while hard times reduce the current to a minimum. 
This has been worked out statistically by Professor John R. 
Commons, and is presented in graphic form in a chart in his 
book, "Races and Immigrants in America." Imports per capita 
are taken as the best indication of prosperity in this country, 

1 From The American Economic Review, December, 1911 



and the curve which represents this factor is shown to be almost 
exactly similar to the one representing the number of immigrants 
per 10,000 population. 

Another fact which is equally obvious, and which has been 
given much prominence in recent years, is that a period of depres- 
sion in this country is followed by a large exodus of aliens. The 
popular interpretation of this fact is that this emigration move- 
ment serves to mitigate the evils of the crisis by removing a 
large part of the surplus laborers, until returning prosperity 
creates a demand for them again. The Italian, who displays the 
greatest mobility in this regard, has been called the safety valve 
of our labor market. Thus the movements of our alien popula- 
tion are supposed to be an alleviating force as regards crises. 
How well this interpretation fits the facts will appear later. 
Professor Commons takes a different view of the matter, and in 
another chapter of the book quoted demonstrates how immigra- 
tion, instead of helping matters, is really one of the causes of 
crises. His conclusion is that "immigration intensifies this 
fatal cycle of ' booms*' and ' depressions/ " and " instead of increas- 
ing the production of wealth by a steady, healthful growth, joins 
with other causes to stimulate the feverish overproduction, 
with its inevitable collapse, that has characterized the industry 
of America more than that of any other country." The few pages 
which Professor Commons devotes to this topic are highly sug- 
gestive, and so far as the present writer is aware, contain the best 
discussion of the subject which has yet been offered. Professor 
Commons, however, at the time this book was written, was handi- 
capped by the lack of certain data which have since become 
available. Up till 1907 no official records were kept of departing 
aliens, and no exact information as to their number was avail- 
able. But beginning with July of that year, the reports of the 
Commissioner-General of Immigration have furnished these 
figures, and the recent reports contain tables almost as complete 
for departing as for arriving aliens. Furthermore, within this 
period the United States has experienced, and recovered from, 
a severe depression, so that the material is at hand for a concrete 
study of the matter in question. 

Immigrant aliens are those whose last permanent residence 
has been in some foreign country and who have come to the 


United States with the expressed intention of residing here 
permanently. Nonimmigrant aliens are of two classes : those 
whose last permanent residence was in the United States, but 
who have been abroad for a short time, and those whose last 
permanent residence was abroad, but who come to the United 
States without the intention of remaining permanently, including 
aliens in transit. Emigrant aliens are those whose last permanent 
residence has been in the United States and who are going abroad 
with the intention of residing there permanently. In all cases, 
the expressed intention of the alien is accepted in regard to 
residence, and an intended residence of twelve months consti- 
tutes a permanent residence either in the past or future. Thus 
there are" six distinct classes of aliens, coming and going, and the 
way is open for some very complicated comparisons. For our 
present purposes, however, it is not necessary to make these 
comparisons. As far as aliens in transit are concerned, they 
are counted as arrivals at the port of entry, and as departures 
at the port of exit, so that they cancel, and do not affect the 
net increase or decrease of population. Th'ey do not affect the 
labor market, as they are supposed to pass by a direct and 
continuous journey through the territory of the United States 
within thirty days, otherwise the head tax is not refunded. The 
other classes of nonimmigrant and nonemigrant aliens should 
rightfully be included in the table for the present study, as they 
affect the labor market. Particularly those incoming aliens who 
are "nonimmigrant" because their last permanent residence 
was in the United States, and those "nonemigrant" aliens who 
are such because they are leaving the country only for a short 
time include, to a great extent, just those individuals in whom 
we are most interested. The tables of arrivals and departures 
by months do not differentiate the two classes of nonimmigrant, 
and the two classes of nonemigrant, aliens, so that it is impos- 
sible to make monthly comparisons of these factors. Fortu- 
nately, as stated above, it is not necessary for our present 
purpose ; the totals of arrivals and departures of all classes of 
aliens are a sufficient general indication of the movements which 
we wish to study. A more detailed examination of the make- 
up of the stream of arrivals and departures, by years, will be 
given later. 


Turning then to the table, we observe that the monthly aver- 
age of arrivals during the first six months of 1907 was a high one. 
Following a large immigration during the last six months of the 
preceding year, this made the fiscal year ending June 30, 1907, 
the record year for immigration in the history of the country. 
For the next four months the stream of immigration continued 
high, considering the season, and the number of departures was 
moderate. Early in October, however, there were signs of dis- 
turbance in the New York Stock Exchange. On the sixteenth 
there was a crash in the market, and within a week the panic 
had become general. It reached its height on October 24, and 
continued for many weeks after. The response of the alien 
population to this disturbance was almost immediate, and mani- 
fested itself first in the emigration movement. In November 
the number of departures almost doubled. But the immigrants 
who were on the way could not be stopped, and in spite of the 
large exodus, there was a net gain of 38,207 during the month. 
The next month, December, however, saw a marked decrease 
in the stream of arrivals, which, accompanied by a departure 
of aliens almost as great as in November, resulted in a net de- 
crease in population of 11,325 for the month. During the first 
six months of 1908 the number of arrivals was small, and the 
departures numerous, so that, with the exception of March, 
each month shows a net loss in population. During July the 
number of departures began to approach the normal (compare 
the months in 1908 with 1907 and 1910), but the arrivals were 
so few that there was still a decrease for the months of July and 
August. In September, 1908, the balance swung the other way, 
and from that time to the present every month has shown a 
substantial increase in population through the movement of 

Thus we see that the period during which the number of alien 
laborers in the United States was decreasing was confined to the 
months December, 1907, to August, 1908, inclusive. By the end 
of July, 1908, the effects of the crisis were practically over as far 
as departures are concerned. It is evident, then, that the effects 
of the crisis on emigration were immediate, but not of very long 
duration. During the months of November and December, 1907, v 
when the distress was the keenest, there were still large numbers 


of aliens arriving. But when the stream of immigration was once 
checked, it remained low for some time, and it was not until 
about January, 1909, that it returned to what may be considered 
a normal figure. The reasons for this are obvious. The stream 
of immigration is a long one, and its sources are remote. It takes 
a long time for retarding influences in America to be thoroughly 
felt on the other side. The principal agency in checking immigra- 
tion at its source is the returning immigrant himself, who brings 
personal information of the unfortunate conditions in the United 
States. This takes some time. But when the potential immi- 
grants are once discouraged as to the outlook across the ocean, 
they require some positive assurance of better times before they 
will start out again. 

Now what catches the public eye in such an epoch as this, is 
the large number of departures. We are accustomed to immense 
numbers of arrivals and we think little about that side of it. But 
heavy emigration is a phenomenon, and accordingly we hear 
much about how acceptably our alien population serves to accom- 
modate the supply of labor to the demand. But if we stop to add 
up the monthly figures, we find that for the entire period after 
the crisis of 1907, when emigration exceeded immigration, the 
total decrease in alien population was only 124,124 scarcely 
equal to the immigration of a single month during a fairly busy 
season. This figure is almost infinitesimal compared to the total 
mass of the American working people, or to the amount of unem- 
ployment at a normal time, to say nothing of a crisis. It is thus 
evident that the importance of our alien population as an alleviat- 
ing force at the time of a crisis has been vastly exaggerated. 
The most that can be said for it is that it has a very trifling 
palliative effect. 

The really important relation between immigration and crises 
is much less conspicuous but much more far-reaching. It rests 
upon the nature and underlying causes of crises in this country. 
These are fairly well understood at the present time. A typical 
crisis may be said to be caused by speculative overproduction, 
or overspeculative production. Some prefer to call the trouble 
underconsumption, which is much the same thing looked at 
from another point of view. Professor Irving Fisher has furnished 
a convenient and logical outline of the ordinary course of affairs. 


In a normal business period some slight disturbance, such as an 
increase in the quantity of gold, causes prices to rise. A rise in 
prices is accompanied by increased profits for business men, be- 
cause the rate of interest on the borrowed capital which they use 
in their business fails to increase at a corresponding ratio. If 
prices are rising at the rate of two per cent annually, a nominal 
rate of interest of six per cent is equivalent to an actual rate of 
only about four per cent. Hence, doing business on borrowed 
capital becomes very profitable, and there is an increased demand 
for loans. 

This results in an increase of the deposit currency, which is 
accompanied by a further rise in prices. The nominal rate of 
interest rises somewhat, but not sufficiently, and prices tend to 
outstrip it still further. Thus the process is repeated, until the 
large profits of business lead to a disproportionate production of 
goods for anticipated future demand, and a vast overextension 
of credit. But this cycle cannot repeat itself indefinitely. Though 
the rate of interest rises tardily, it rises progressively, and even- 
tually catches up with the rise in prices, owing to the necessity 
which banks feel of maintaining a reasonable ratio between loans 
and reserves. Other causes operate with this to produce the 
same result. The consequence is that business men find them- 
selves unable to renew their loans at the old rate, and hence 
some of them are unable to meet their obligations, and fail. 
The failure of a few firms dispels the atmosphere of public confi- 
dence which is essential to extended credit. Creditors begin to 
demand cash payment for their loans ; there is a growing demand 
for currency; the rate of interest soars; and the old familiar 
symptoms of a panic appear. In this entire process the blame 
falls, according to Professor Fisher, primarily upon the failure 
of the rate of interest to rise promptly in proportion to the rise 
in prices. If the forces which give inertia to the rate of interest 
were removed, so that the rate of interest would fluctuate readily 
with prices, the great temptation to expand business unduly 
during a period of rising prices would be removed. It may well 
be conceived that there are other factors, besides the discrepancy 
between the nominal and real rates of interest, that give to 
business a temporary or specious profitableness, and tend to 
encourage speculative overproduction. But the influence of the 


rate of interest resembles so closely that resulting from immi- 
gration, that Professor Fisher's explanation is of especial service 
in the present discussion. 

The rate of interest represents the payment which the entre- 
preneur makes for one of the great factors of production - 
capital. The failure of this remuneration to keep pace with the 
price of commodities in general leads to excessive profits and 
overproduction. The payment which the entrepreneur makes 
for one of the other factors of production labor is repre- 
sented by wages. If wages fail to rise valong with prices the effect 
on business, while not strictly analogous, is very similar to that 
produced by the slowly rising rate of interest. The entrepreneur 
is relieved of the necessity of sharing any of his excessive profits 
with labor, just as in the other case he is relieved from sharing 
them with capital. It would probably be hard to prove that the 
increased demand for labor results in further raising prices in 
general, as an increased demand for capital results in raising 
prices by increasing the deposit currency. But if the demand 
for labor results in increasing the number of laborers in the 
country, thereby increasing the demand for commodities, it 
may very well result in raising the prices of commodities as 
distinguished from labor, which is just as satisfactory to the 
entrepreneur. This is exactly what is accomplished when un- 
limited immigration is allowed. As soon as the conditions of 
business produce an increased demand for labor, this demand 
is met by an increased number of laborers, produced by immi- 

In the preceding paragraph it has been assumed that wages 
do not rise with prices. The great question is, is this true ? This 
is a question very difficult of answer. There is a very general 
impression that during the last few years prices have seriously 
outstripped wages. Thus Professor Ely says, " Wages do not 
usually rise as rapidly as prices in periods of business expansion." 
R. B. Brinsmade stated in a discussion at the last meeting of 
the American Economic Association that "our recent great rise 
of prices is acknowledged to be equivalent to a marked reduction 
in general wages." Whether this idea is correct, and if correct, 
whether this effect had transpired in the years immediately 
previous to 1907, cannot be definitely stated. The index 


numbers of wages and prices given in the -Statistical Abstract of 
the United States, for 1909 (p. 249), seem to show that during 
the years 1895 to 1907 money wages increased about pari passu 
with the retail prices of food, so that the purchasing power of 
the full-time weekly earnings remained nearly constant. 

But whether or not money wages rose as fast as prices in the 
years from 1900 to 1907, one thing is certain, they did not rise 
any faster. That is to say, if real wages did not actually fall, 
they assuredly did not rise. But the welfare of the country 
requires that, in the years when business is moving toward a 
crisis, wages should rise ; not only money wages, but real wages. 
What is needed is some check on the unwarranted activity of the 
entrepreneurs, which will make them stop and consider whether 
the apparently bright business outlook rests on sound and per- 
manent conditions, or is illusory and transient. If their large 
profits are legitimate and enduring, they should be forced to 
share a part of them with the laborer. If not, the fact should 
be impressed upon them. We have seen that the rate of interest 
fails to act as an efficient check. Then the rate of wages should 
do it. And if the entrepreneurs were compelled to rely on the 
existing labor supply in their own country, the rate of wages 
would do it. Business expands by increasing the amount of labor 
utilized, as well as the amount of capital. If the increased labor 
supply could be secured only from the people already resident 
in the country, the increased demand would have to express itself 
in an increased wage, and the entrepreneur would be forced to 
pause and reflect. .But in the -United States we have adopted 
the opposite policy. In the vast peasant population of Europe 
there is an inexhaustible reservoir of labor, only waiting a signal 
from this side to enter the labor market to enter it, not with a 
demand for the high wage that the business situation justifies, 
but ready to take any wage that will be offered, just so it is a 
little higher than the pittance to which they are accustomed at 
home. And we allow them to come, without any restrictions 
whatever as to numbers. Thus wages are kept from rising, and 
immigration becomes a powerful factor, tending to intensify 
and augment the unhealthy, oscillatory character of our indus- 
trial life. It was not by mere chance that the panic year of 
1907 was the record year in immigration. 

2 7 2 


Against this point of view it may be argued that the legitimate 
expansion of business in this country requires the presence of 
the immigrant. But if business expansion is legitimate and per- 
manent, resting on lasting favorable conditions, it will express 
itself in a high wage scale, persisting over a long period of time. 
And the demand so expressed will be met by an increase of native 
offspring, whose parents are reaping the benefit of the high 
standard of living. A permanent shortage of the labor supply 
is as abhorrent to Nature as a vacuum. Expansion of any other 
kind than this ought to be hampered, not gratified. 

There is one other way in which immigration, as it exists at 
present, influences crises. In considering this, it will be well to 
regard the crisis from the other point of view as a phenomenon 
of underconsumption. Practically all production at the present 
day is to supply an anticipated future demand. There can be 
no overproduction unless the actual demand fails to equal that 
anticipated. This is underconsumption. Now the great mass 
of consumers in the United States is composed of wage earners. 
Their consuming power depends upon their wages. In s^ far 
as immigration lowers wages in the United States, or prevents 
them from rising, it reduces consuming power, and hence is 
favorable to the recurrence of periods of underconsumption. 
It is not probable, to be sure, that a high wage scale in itself 
could prevent crises, as the entrepreneurs would base their cal- 
culations on the corresponding consuming power, just as they 
do at present. But a high wage scale carries with it the possibility 
of saving, and an increase of accumulations among the common 
people. It is estimated at the present time that half of the 
industrial people of the United States are unable to save any- 
thing. This increase in saving would almost inevitably have 
some effect upon the results of crises, though it must be confessed 
that it is very difficult to predict just what this effect would 
be. One result that might naturally be expected to follow would 
be that the laboring classes would take the opportunity of the 
period of low prices immediately following the crisis to invest 
some of their savings in luxuries which hitherto they had not 
felt able to afford. This would increase the demand for the 
goods which manufacturers are eager to dispose of at almost 
any price, and would thereby mitigate the evils of the depressed 


market. It is probably true that the immigrant, under the same 
conditions, will save more out of a given wage than the native, 
so that it might seem that an alien laboring body would have 
more surplus available for use at the time of a crisis than a native 
class. But the immigrant sends a very large proportion of his 
savings to friends and relatives in the old country, or deposits 
it in foreign institutions, so that it is not available at such a 
time. Moreover, our laboring class is not as yet wholly foreign, 
and the native has to share approximately the same wage as 
the alien. Without the immense body of alien labor, we should 
have a class of native workers with a considerably higher wage 
scale, and a large amount of savings accumulated in this country, 
and available when needed. 

On the other hand, it may be argued that if the desire to pur- 
chase goods in a depressed market should lead to a large with- 
drawal of cash from savings banks and similar institutions, it 
might tend to augment rather than alleviate the evils of a money 
stringency. There seems to be much force to this argument. 
Yet Mr. StreightofT tells us that in a period of hard times the 
tendency is for the poorer classes to increase their deposits, 
rather than diminish them. On the whole, it seems probable 
that a large amount of accumulated savings in the hands of the 
poorer classes would tend to have a steadying influence on condi- 
tions at the time of a crisis, and that by preventing this, as well 
as in other ways, immigration tends to increase the evils of crises. 

In closing, it may be interesting to note what are the elements 
in our alien population which respond most readily to economic 
influences in this country, and hence are mainly accountable for 
the influences we have been considering. As stated above, the 
annual reports of the Commissioner General of Immigration give 
very complete data as to the make-up of the incoming and out- 
going streams by years. Thus in the fiscal year 1908 there were 
782,870 immigrant aliens and 141,825 nonimmigrant aliens 
admitted. Of the nonimmigrant aliens, 86,570 were individuals 
whose country of last permanent residence and of intended future 
residence were both the United States ; that is, they were alien 
residents of this country who had been abroad for a brief visit. 
These are the birds of passage in the strictest sense, in which we 
shall use the term hereafter. In the same year there was a total 


exodus of 714,828 aliens, of whom 395,073 were emigrants and 
319,755 nonemigrants. The former class includes those who have 
made their fortune in this country and are going home to spend 
it, and those who have failed and are going home broken and 
discouraged a very large number in this panic year. The 
latter class includes aliens who have had a permanent residence 
in the United States, but who are going abroad to wait till the 
storm blows over, with the expectation of returning again 
true birds of passage outward bound. There were 133,251 of 
these. The balance were aliens in transit, and aliens who had 
been in this country on a visit, or only for a short time. In 1909 
there were 751,786 immigrant aliens and 192,449 nonimmigrant 
aliens. Of the nonimmigrants 138,680 were true birds of passage 
according to the above distinction a large number and almost 
exactly equal to the number of departing birds of passage in 
the previous year. The storm is over, and they have come back. 
The departures in that year numbered 225,802 emigrant and 
174,590 nonemigrant aliens. These numbers are considerably 
smaller than in the previous year, but are still large, showing 
that the effects of the crisis were still felt in the early part of 
this fiscal year. The number of birds of passage among the non- 
emigrant aliens, 80,151, is much smaller than in the previous 
year. In 1910 there were 1,041,570 immigrant aliens and 156,467 
nonimmigrant aliens. In the latter class, the number of birds 
of passage, 94,075, again approximated the corresponding class 
among the departures of the previous year. The departures in 
1910 were 202,436 emigrant aliens and 177,982 nonemigrant 
aliens, of whom 89,754 were birds of passage. This probably 
comes near to representing the normal number of this class. A 
careful study of these figures confirms the conclusion reached 
above. While a crisis in this country does undoubtedly increase 
the number of departing aliens, both emigrant and nonemigrant, 
and eventually cuts down the number of arrivals, the total effect 
is much smaller than is usually supposed, and taken in connection 
with the fact that the stream of arrivals is never wholly checked, 
the influence of emigration in easing the labor market is abso- 
lutely trifling. 

Comparing the different races in regard to their readiness to 
respond to changes in economic conditions, it appears that the 


Italians stand easily at the head, and the Slavs come second. 
In 1908, in the traffic between the United States and Italy, 
there was a net loss in the population of this country of 79,966 ; 
in 1909, a net gain of 94,806. In the traffic between this country 
and Austria-Hungary there was a loss in 1908 of 5463 ; in 1909 
a gain of 48,763. In the traffic with the Russian Empire and 
Finland there was a gain of 104,641 in 1908 and a gain of 94,806 
in 1909. This shows how unique are the motives and conditions 
which control the migration from the two latter countries. 
The emigrants from there, particularly the Jews, come to this 
country to escape intolerable conditions on the other side, not 
merely for the sake of economic betterment. They prefer to 
endure anything in this country, rather than to return to their 
old home, even if they could. 



MANY persons who have spoken and written of late years 
in favor of restriction of immigration have laid great 
stress upon the evils to society arising from immigration. They 
have claimed that disease, pauperism, crime, and vice have been 
greatly increased through the incoming of the immigrants. 
Perhaps no other phase of the question has aroused so keen 
feeling, and yet perhaps on no other phase of the question has 
there been so little accurate information. 

It is doubtful whether the increased number of convictions 
for crime are found because more crimes are committed, or be- 
cause our courts and the police are more active. It is probable 
that we hear more of vice and immorality in these late days, 
not because they are on the increase, but because people's con- 
sciences have become more sensitive, and in consequence greater 
efforts are made to suppress them. 

It is certain that the injurious effect of most contagious diseases 
has been very greatly lessened, and yet it is probable that we 
hear more regarding contagious diseases now than ever before 
because we have become more watchful. 

The data regarding contagious diseases, pauperism, and crime, 
in connection with the immigrants, are extremely meager and 
unsatisfactory; but the Immigration Commission made the 
best use possible of such data as exist, and it was able to institute 
a number of inquiries which, though limited in extent, never- 
theless have served to throw some light upon the relation of 
immigration to these various social problems. Although it 
seems probable that the injurious social effects of immigration 
have been greatly exaggerated in the minds of many persons, 
nevertheless it would be practically impossible to exaggerate 
the social importance that might attach to immigration under 



certain conditions. History and observation afford numberless 

It is a generally accepted fact that, up to the time of the visita- 
tion of the Pacific Islands by diseased sailors from Europe in 
the early part of the last century, venereal diseases, as known in 
Europe and America, did not exist in those islands, and that 
their introduction by only a few sailors was largely responsible 
for the ravages of these terrible diseases, unchecked by any 
medical knowledge, that swept away in many instances a large 
proportion of the entire population. 

The entrance of an evil-minded man into a village community, 
or one or two foul-minded boys into a school, is often enough to 
affect materially the entire tone of the school or community. 
It is important, therefore, that as careful consideration as possible 
be given to these questions that have been so emphasized, and 
that rigid measures be taken to check whatever evils may have 


In earlier days neither the Federal Government nor State 
governments had passed any laws to protect the United States 
against the immigration of undesirable persons of whatever 
kind. Even the energetic action of those promoting the so-called 
"Native American" or "Know-Nothing" movements, from 1835 
to 1860, resulted in no protective legislation. Indeed, these 
movements were largely based on opposition to the immigration 
of Catholics rather than to that of persons undesirable for other 
reasons. In 1836 the Secretary of State was requested to collect 
information respecting the immigration of foreign paupers and 
criminals. In 1838 the Committee on the Judiciary of the House 
of Representatives was instructed to consider the expediency 
of providing by law against the introduction into the United 
States of vagabonds and paupers deported from foreign countries. 
Moreover, a bill, presented on the recommendation of the Com- 
mittee, proposed a fine of $1000, or imprisonment for from one 
to three years, for any master who took on board his vessel, 
with the intention of transporting to the United States, any 

1 Cf . for details, reports of Immigration Commission, Vol. XXXIX ; also Chap- 
ter XVI. 


alien passenger who was an idiot, lunatic, one afflicted with any 
incurable disease, or one convicted of an infamous crime. The bill, 
however, was not considered. The early " Native American" 
movement had been local, confined to New York City at first, 
afterward spreading to Philadelphia, but in 1852 the secret 
oath-bound organization that took the name of the American 
Party, the members of which were popularly called the Know- 
Nothings, came into national politics, and for a few years exerted 
not a little power, carrying nine State elections in 1855. Later, 
in something of a reaction against this " Know-No thing " move- 
ment, which finally proposed only the exclusion of foreign paupers 
and criminals, there was a definite effort made to encourage 

In 1864, on the recommendation of President Lincoln, a bill 
encouraging immigration was passed. In 1866 a joint resolution 
condemned the action of Switzerland and other nations in par- 
doning persons convicted of murder and other infamous crimes 
on condition that they would emigrate to the United States, 
and in 1868 the encouraging act .was repealed. 

Some of the States had provided for the collection of money 
to support immigrants who had become public charges ; but 
these laws were finally declared unconstitutional by the United 
States Supreme Court, and in 1882 the first Federal Immigra- 
tion Law was approved. This forbade convicts, except political 
offenders, lunatics, idiots, and persons likely to become public 
charges, to land. During the following years there was consid- 
erable agitation for further restriction or regulation, which 
culminated in 1888 in the selection of the "Ford Committee" 
by the House of Representatives. In the testimony before the 
committee it was shown that sometimes immigrants coming 
by steamer to Quebec, within forty-eight hours of their arrival, 
applied for shelter in the almshouses of the State of New York, 
and like cases of gross abuse existed by the thousands. 

No further legislation, however, was enacted until 1891, when a 
bill was passed which added to the excluded classes persons suffer- 
ing from a loathsome or dangerous contagious disease, and polyg- 
amists, but from that time on there has been an earnest effort to 
protect the United States against such undesirable immigrants. 


Our present law provides that in case of aliens who are debarred 
for physical or mental reasons and whose disability might have 
been detected by the transportation company through a compe- 
tent medical examination at the time of embarkation, the trans- 
portation company shall pay the sum of $200 and in addition 
a sum equal to that paid by such alien for his transportation from 
the initial point of departure indicated in his ticket to the port 
of arrival, and such sum shall be paid to the alien on whose ac- 
count it is assessed. In consequence of these and the precedi 
regulations, the transportation of diseased aliens has becom 
so unprofitable that the steamship companies have provided, a 
the leading foreign ports, a medical inspection similar to tha 
made in the United States. 1 


As a result of this inspection compelled by the rigid enforce- 
ment of our laws at our port$ of entry, the number of persons/ 
debarred at American ports is relatively very small. In the fiscal] 
year 1907, 1,285,349 aliens were admitted, while only 4400 were 
debarred on account of physical and mental diseases. In 1914, 
as against 1,218,480 aliens who entered, 11,068 were debarred. 
The increase is due largely to the added efficiency of our medical 
service. The fact that a large proportion of the immigrants 
arriving in the United States come from countries where 
trachoma, favus and other contagious diseases are prevalent 
among the classes of the population from whom the immigrants 
come, shows how careful the steamship inspection is. 

A still further proof is that the persons excluded on account 
of diseases from the ports of Italy, where the judgment of Ameri- 
can medical officers is accepted as final, is slightly larger than 
those rejected from some other countries where the inspection 
is made solely by the physicians employed by the steamship 

On the whole, the medical inspection of immigrants at foreign 
ports, while not absolutely effective, seems to be reasonably 

1 Immigration Act, 1917, Sec. 9. 


satisfactory. A considerable time must elapse between embarka- 
tion at European ports and arrival in the United States. More- 
over, doubtless, in spite of the best efforts that can be made, 
there will be occasionally an avoidance of inspection ; but taking 
all circumstances into account, the present control of immigrants 
as regards contagious diseases seems to be quite satisfactory. 

It has frequently been suggested that some system should 
be devised by which immigrants may be inspected before leaving 
their homes for a port of embarkation. Such an arrangement 
would, of course, prevent many hardships now suffered by the 
thousands that are annually turned back at foreign ports of 
embarkation ; but this is a subject over which our government 
has no supervision, the governments of the home countries being 
the only ones which could take effective action. 

The policy adopted by the United States, of holding steam- 
ship companies responsible for bringing to the United States 
those physically and mentally diseased, seems to be right, and 
\ to have been of increasing effectiveness in late years. Inasmuch, 
however, as the circumstances in different cases vary materially, 
it seems desirable that the .penalty provided for evasion of the 
law either through carelessness or connivance might also be varied 
so that under certain circumstances as heavy a fine as $500 
might be levied. 


x^In order that a more careful test might be made of the physical 
V conditions of the immigrants after their arrival in this country 
the Immigration Commission had an accurate record 1 kept of 
all charity patients entering the Bellevue and Allied Hospitals 
I in New York City, during the seven months from August i, 
^ 1908, to February 28, 1909, these hospitals being the ones that 
most frequently treat charity patients of the immigrant classes. 
Records of 23,758 cases were taken, of whom 52.3 per cent were 
foreign-born. When any race was represented by 200 or more 
patients, the results were tabulated, so that some conclusions 
might be reached regarding the liability to certain diseases of 
the different classes of immigrants of the various races and na- 
tionalities. | 

1 Reports of Immigration Commission, Vol. I. 


It is a rather striking fact that, so far as one can judge from\ 
these records kept, the races of the recent immigration, those / 
from southern and eastern Europe, are not so subject to diseases C 
that seem to be allied with moral weaknesses, as some of those { 
of the older immigration races. For example, the largest per- 
centage of diseases treated among Italians is 19.6 per cent for 
traumatism, burns, etc., these apparently arising from the fact 
that the newly arrived Italian immigrant is likely to be employed 
in unskilled labor, where he meets with slight accidents. The 
Hebrews also suffer most from this cause, a percentage of 13.1 
per cent. 

The Irish, who are also largely unskilled workmen, show only ' 
11.7 per cent of their cases coming from this cause, whereas 
35.9 per cent of the Irish patients treated were suffering from 
alcoholism, acute and chronic. Of the English 27.5 per cent, 
and of the German 12.8 per cent, were treated for alcoholism, 
and only 7.2 per cent and 12.4 per cent, respectively, for trauma- 
tism, burns, etc. Of the Italians only 1.6 per cent were treated 
for alcoholism and of the Hebrews only 0.9 of i per cent. 

The Swedes with 1.5 per cent, Irish, Italians, Polish, and 
Scotch each with 0.9 per cent, show a larger proportion treated 
for syphilis than the English, Germans, Hebrews, or Magyars. 
The English with 2.1 per cent and the Italians with 1.5 per cent 
had a larger proportion treated for gonorrhea than any of the 
other races of which a detailed study was made. 

Among the native-born negroes only 3.6 per cent were treated 
for alcoholism. 


It is much more difficult, in many instances, to detect the 
mentally than the physically defective. Often there is nothing 
to indicate to the medical inspector mental disease, unless the 
immigrant can be kept under observation for a considerable 
period of time, or unless the history of the case is known. Under 
the law, "All idiots, imbeciles, feeble-minded persons, epileptics, 
are excluded, insane persons, and persons who have been insane 
within five years previous; and persons who have had two or 
more attacks of insanity at any time previously." It is the 
custom invariably to hold for observation any patient who shows 



any evidence whatever of mental disease ; but despite this care 
not a few cases are found of those who have developed insanity 
within a comparatively short period after landing. In some 
instances this might have been anticipated if the history of the 
patient had been known, but otherwise there was no means of 
detection. The present law on this point seems to be satisfactory, 
and its enforcement generally good under the very difficult 
conditions; but it would be desirable to have a larger force of 
experts to examine, and also, if it were practicable, to provide 
some better means for securing the history of arriving immigrants. 










No. per 
100,000 of 


No. per 
100,000 of 

United States . 


I "\O I ^I 

186 2 

io6wi8<; 2 

1 7O O ^ 

England and Wales . . . . . 
Scotland . . . 



16 658 

^62 7 



22 I?8 

o u ov 



12 8lO 



2Q7 O 


1 004. 

60 100 

177 5 



1 08 004 

191 6 



24. 802 

IO9 2 

Austria .... 


14. 80? 

C7 o 

70 YA7 

TI7 C 


2 7l6 


14. I 

J^ J )/ i t4 
17 117 

88 8 



8 o<8 




7 4.34. 

224. 2 

Norway .... 


I 8^3 

80 c 


2^8 4. 




e 08^ 


O7 3 

8 OO* 

I C4. O 



-} AiQ. 

4. IO7 

171 3 

The tables above, taken from the Special Report of the 
United States Census, which some observations by the Immigra- 
tion Commission in Bellevue and Allied Hospitals in New York 
and reports of the Bureau of Immigration tend to confirm, 

^Compiled from United States Census, Special Report, 
minded in hospitals and institutions, 1904," pp. 9 and 10. j- 
2 Figure for June i, 1890. 

Insane and feeble- 


throw some light on the relative tendencies of certain races 
toward insanity, and show that certain aliens are more inclined 
toward insanity than are native-born Americans. 


The high ratio of insanity prevailing among foreign-born""] 
persons in the United States may be due, in a measure at least, L^ 
to racial or national tendencies. 

Data showing the number of insane and the ratio of insanil 
in the principal European countries and in Canada are afforded 
by the Special Report of the Census Bureau. These data, together 
with like data for the United States, obtained from the same 
source, are presented in the table below. 







i* 6 



England and ^^ales . 

7 O 

o o 

Canada 2 


II 4 

ii. c 


Scotland . .... 

I 7 

2 3 

Italy . 






Hungary and Bohemia 

2 2 

2 O 

Russia and Poland 


7 8 

Other countries . 

7 3 





1 Compiled from United States Census, Special Report, 
minded in hospitals and institutions, 1904," pp. 23 and 24. 

2 Includes Newfoundland. 

' Insane and feeble- 



Although in the earlier days before strict regulation of immi- 
gration had been provided by law many poor people came from 
Europe, their home countries paying the expenses of their ship- 
ment in order to rid themselves of the burden of their support, 
our present regulations excluding those who are liable to become 
a public charge have practically stopped the immigration of this 
undesirable class. The Immigration Commission, with the 
assistance of the Associated Charities in forty-three cities, 
including practically all the large immigrant centers excepting 
New York, reached the conclusion that only a very small per- 
centage of the immigrants now arriving applied for relief. 

In this statistical investigation, 1 covering 31,374 cases actually 
receiving assistance and reporting cause, it was found that 28.7 
per cent had applied for assistance because of the death or dis- 
ability of the breadwinner of the family ; 18.9 per cent on account 
of the death or disability of another member of the family ; 59 
per cent from lack of employment or insufficient earnings; 18.7 
per cent on account of neglect or bad habits of the breadwinner ; 
6.2 per cent on account of old age; and 10 per cent from other 

It will be noted that because more than one reason was given 
in some cases, this total amounts to more than 100 per cent, 
but the relative proportions of the cases under the different classes 
.are probably substantially accurate . If we attempt to discriminate 
among the different races, it appears that it is among the immi- 
grants of the earlier period or those coming from Northern Europe 
that we find apparently the largest number of cases of neglect 
or bad habits of the breadwinner. For example, among the South 
Italians, only 8.7 per cent give this cause, whereas the Irish 
give 20.9 per cent, the English 14 per cent, the German 15.7 
per cent, the Norwegians 25.9 per cent. The Hebrews, again, 
as representatives of the later immigrants, give 12.6 per cent, 
L^ but the Lithuanians, by exception, give 25.6 per cent. 

In the case of those giving lack of employment as the cause, 
the highest percentage is found among the Syrians, 75.4 per 
cent; the lowest among the French Canadians, 38.9 per cent 

1 Reports of Immigration Commission, Vol. I. 


There do not seem to be striking differences in this regard among 
the other nationalities ; among the South Italians 67.8 per cent, 
the Polish 65,9 per cent, the Irish 54.8 per cent, the English 
63.3 per cent, the Germans 58.1 per cent ; the preponderance being 
slightly greater among the late arrivals than among the early. 
On the other hand, if we note the length of time that those 
assisted have been in the United States, we find that 33.9 per 
cent of those who have received aid have been here twenty years 
or over, whereas only 6 per cent have been here two years ; and 
if we take all who have been here under three years, it amounts 
to only 10.3 per cent. Apparently, therefore, the newly arrived 
immigrants do not soon apply for aid to any large extent. It 
should be noted, also, that this investigation was made during 
the six months of the winter of 1908-1909, while the effects of 
the industrial depression of 1907-1908 were still felt. These last* 
facts emphasize strongly the effectiveness of our present immi- 
gration laws in excluding those likely to become a public charge, 
as compared with the lack of care in ear Her years, when within 
forty-eight hours of landing large numbers applied for relief. 


Probably no other question in connection with immigration 
has aroused greater interest than its relation to crime. Probably 
more hostility to the immigrant has been aroused by the asser- 
tion that their incoming has increased crime in this country than 
by any other fact ; and yet it is impossible to produce satisfactory 
evidence that immigration has resulted in an increase of crime 
out of proportion to the increase in the adult population. Al- 
though available statistical material is too small to permit the 
drawing of positive conclusions, such material as is available, / ^L 
if trustworthy, would seem to indicate that immigrants are rather 
less inclined toward criminality, on the whole, than are native 
Americans, although these statistics do indicate that the children 
of immigrants commit crime more often than the children of 

Any special study of the relation of immigration to crime 
should take into consideration not only the number of convictions 
for crime but also the nature of the crimes committed and possibly 


the relative likelihood of the detection of crime in different locali- 
ties or among different classes of the population. 


Although the immigration laws provide for the exclusion of 
persons who have been convicted of, or confess to, an infamous 
crime, there can be no doubt that many criminals have succeeded 
and still succeed in evading this law. 

It is, of course, impossible for an immigration inspector to tell 
from the appearance of a man whether or not he has been a 
criminal. In many cases criminals, especially those who have 
committed certain classes of serious crimes, such as forgery or 
even burglary, may be well-dressed, intelligent persons, traveling 
in first cabin. Unless something is known of their previous 
history, if they do not declare that they have been convicted of 
crime, they will be admitted without question. Doubtless many 
aliens enter the United States contrary to the law after having 
been convicted of a crime, and having served out their sentence \ 
or, having been convicted of crime by foreign courts during 
their absence from the place of trial, as is permitted in some 
countries, if they have escaped arrest and fled the country. 
Moreover, our laws do not exclude persons who have not been 
convicted of crime although they may be looked upon as danger- 
ous persons or probably criminals and on that account have 
been placed by their home courts under police surveillance. 

The Immigration Commission, 1 in order to make as careful 
a study as possible of this most important question within the 
means at its disposal, took into careful account the material 
collected by the United States Census on the extent of crime, 
going through carefully the latest report regarding prisoners and 
juvenile delinquents in institutions in 1904. In addition to this, 
use was made of the records of the County and Supreme Courts 
of New York State, from 1907 to 1908, of the New York City 
Magistrates Courts, 1901-1908, and of the New York Court 
of General Sessions, October i, 1908 to June 30, 1909, the ma- 
terial in this last case having been especially collected by agents 
of the Commission. 

1 Reports of Immigration Commission, Vol. XXXVI. 


Furthermore, the records of commitments to penal institution 
in Massachusetts, October i, 1908, and September 30, 1909, 
and data relating to alien prisoners in the penal institutions 
throughout the United States, in 1908, were utilized, as well as 
the police records made in Chicago in the years 1905-1908. 

Many of these figures, of course, are not comparable one 
with another, but by a careful study certain general conclusions 
may be reached. 


The tables of the distribution of classes of crime on pages 288 
and 289, show that in all of the courts investigated, the proportion 
of natives committing gainful offenses is decidedly larger than 
that of foreigners, although in offenses of personal violence and 
of those against public policy the foreigner predominates. It 
should be borne in mind, however, that in the case of offenses 
against public policy many are merely the violation of a city 
ordinance, such as peddling without a city license, and it may 
be that in certain of these cases the newly arrived immigrant 
was not aware that he was committing an offense. Even, how- 
ever, if he did know that he was violating an ordinance, it could 
hardly be assumed that it was such a misdemeanor as would 
imply a serious criminal tendency. 

When on the other hand we take up the offense of personal 
violence, we find that in the City Magistrate's Court of New 
York and in the County and Supreme Courts of the same State, 
the percentage of offenses of personal_viQ]ence is very much 
higher among the Italians than among any other race or national- 
ity. This seems a matter of special significance. For example, 
of the convictions of Italians in the County and Supreme Courts 
of New York State, 39.3 per cent were for offenses of personal 
violence ; of the convictions of persons born in Austria-Hungary, 
only 1 8. 6 per cent were for offenses of that class; for those 
born in Ireland, only 16.5 per cent ; and for native-born citizens, 
11.7 per cent. On the other hand, when in the same courts we 
find that in the relative frequency of gainful offenses, the United , 
States leads with ^7.8 per cent, and the Italians have the fewest ( 
offenses with 37.6 per cent, we see the relative inclinations of 
the different races brought out in a most striking way. 



I 3 





CO 1/5 M NO CO 

Tj- M <N M O\ 

O\ M es o 



O\00 co 
O < ON 
to vo Tf 

O to * 
t^ >o O 

M 00 M 

tO O ON 

Tt M M 

co co M 

cT o" M" 



10 Tj- M 

o J>- \o 

O O co 

M to 


ON t^ M 
t- ON O 
00 ON M 











t- 00 00 

b w 




04 M H 

3 s 

o ^ 




t^* vO ^ 










ON CO t^ 









ON M t^ 












1000 ON 

cs t^* O 



M r^oo 




O oo to 





t^ CO 10 







to -^- o 

CN| |>. NO 








t^ vO co 

o 2 




M -^ rf 





to oo to 











oo oo to 





t^ rj- to 



t^<* M H 




O O O 




8 8 8 










8 8 8 



bO * *O 





^ 8^ 

d sessions 
ark county 


8 | 




a &^ 



s sl 


Convictions: Number 














United States . . . 
Austria-Hungary . . 










Germany .... 









j j 













Total foreign z . 
Grand total . . 







Convictions: Per cent distribution 














United States . . . 
Austria-Hungary . . 


68. ? 

ii. 7 



II. 7 



6 <: 

Germany .... 








2 O 

Italy ./.... 


6s 6 


17 7 

II <? 


2 I 









Total foreign 2 . 
Grand total . . 





8. 9 

I. 9 




1 New York County and Supreme Courts, 1907-1908. 

2 Includes "Other countries." 


Among these gainful offenses, however, there seems to be a 
wide difference in kinds of crime. Of the convictions of persons 
born in the United States, 29.9 per cent were for burglary. In 
extortion, the Italians lead with 3.05 per cent; in forgery and 
fraud, the Canadian with 4.03 per cent ; in larceny and receiving 
stolen property, the Russian leads with 48.5, while in robbery, 
the Poles are preeminent with 4.2 per cent. 

If a similar analysis is made of the relative frequency of offenses 
of personal violence, the Italians seem to show a peculiarly bad 
eminence, leading in homicide with 6.3 per cent of all the con- 
victions, while the nationality next to them is the Irish with 
only 2.2 per cent. In abduction, the Italians also lead with 
2.03 per cent, England being second at only 0.62 per cent. In 
assault the Italians are first with 28.9 per cent, Austria-Hungary 
second at 15 per cent. In all of the offenses of personal violence 
the Italians lead, except in the case of rape, where the Germans 
and Italians are equal at 2.1 per cent, citizens of the United 
States following at 1.6 per cent. In the same court, the Italians 
lead in crimes against the public health and safety with 13.8 per 
cent, the Poles ranking second with 5.2 per cent. In the case of 
violation of excise laws and similar offenses, the Canadian leads 
with 10.5 per cent, the English following with only 6.2 per cent. 

It is perhaps sufficient to say here that on the whole, in spite 
of the inclination apparently shown by certain nationalities to 
commit certain classes of crime, it is impossible to show whether 
or not the totality of crime has been increased by immigration. 


There can be no doubt regarding the inadequacy of our laws 
for the exclusion of criminals. Many criminals doubtless come 
as seamen, or as employees in some capacity on ships, and then 
secure entrance to the country by desertion, while, as already 
explained, many others escape because the inspecting officials 
cannot detect them. 

Unless an immigrant has a criminal record abroad, there 
seems no way of ridding the country of his presence if he becomes 
a criminal here. It seems advisable, that our laws be so amended 
kthat an alien who becomes a criminal within a relatively short 


time after his arrival, say from three to five years, should be 
deported after he has paid the penalty here. Presumably such 
a person has brought with him a tendency to commit crime. 

Moreover, it would seem advisable for the United States to 
make arrangements with certain foreign countries that keep 
police records of all their citizens, so that all persons arriving 
from those countries might be required to produce a penal 
certificate showing a clear record. Those unable to present such 
a record should be excluded. Such an arrangement could not 
well be made with all countries, since, first, many countries keep 
no such records, but also, second, because such an arrangement 
would probably be used by some countries as an additional 
means of oppressing political offenders or those suspected of 
revolutionary inclinations, however praiseworthy such inclina- 
tions might be from the American viewpoint. 

The Immigration Commission and, also, at about the same 
time, the Police Department of New York City, proved by 
experiment in some hundreds of cases that it is possible to secure 
in some foreign countries documentary evidence of the conviction 
of crime of immigrants who have been admitted through error. 
So far as is known, the Bureau of Immigration has never seriously 
attempted such work, though it might well be a means of ridding 
the country of scores, even hundreds, of dangerous criminals. 
Moreover, if the Government were to keep abroad a confidential 
force to watch for criminal and immoral persons intending to 
enter this country, as it does provide such a force abroad to pre- 
vent smuggling of goods, good results could doubtless be obtained. 
A smuggled criminal or prostitute is far more injurious to the 
country than a smuggled diamond or silk coat. Why not take 
equal care regarding them ? 


So much has been said in late years about "race suicide," 
and so much of both the industrial and military strength of a 
country depends upon the natural increase of population through 
the birth rate, that the relative fecundity of immigrant women 
as compared with that of both native-born of foreign parents 


and native-born of native parents is of great significance. For- 
tunately enough, excellent material was collected by the Twelfth 
Census, although not utilized by the Census Bureau, so that the 

Immigration Commission was able from the original data thus 
collected to reach accurate results of value. It was not considered 

; practicable to make use of the material for all sections of the 
/ United States, but the State of Rhode Island, the city of Cleve- 
land and forty-eight counties (largely rural) in the State of Ohio, 
the city of Minneapolis and twenty-one rural counties in Minne- 
sota, were taken as typical of the different sections of the country 
and of urban and rural conditions. The detailed figures are of 
great interest. 1 


Some general conclusions may be reached as follows : The 
percentage of women under forty-five years of age who had 
been married from ten to nineteen years, when classified by 
parentage and nativity shows that in all these regions selected 
for study 7.4 per cent bore no children. Among the native 
whites of native parentage this fact held of 13.1 per cent, while 
among the whites of foreign parentage of only 5.7 per cent. 
Among the women of foreign parentage the percentage of women 
bearing no children was largest among the Scotch 8.9 per cent 
of the first generation and 11.3 per cent of the second generation. 

The Polish women were the most fertile; of the women of 
the first generation only 2.6 per cent bore no children, and of 
those of the second only 1.5 per cent. The Bohemians, Russians, 
and Norwegians show likewise relatively few women without 
children, while the English, French, Irish, and English Canadian 
rank next to the Scotch in the large numbers unfruitful. Speak- 
ing generally, also, it may be noted that the percentage of child- 
less women is decidedly higher in the second generation of the 
white women of foreign parentage, although this difference does 
not appear in so marked a degree in rural Minnesota as in the 
other areas. Generally speaking, the result would seem to indi- 
cate that the second generation, under rural conditions, is almost 
as likely to have children as the first. Under urban conditions 
this is not so likely to occur, as percentages indicate. 

1 Reports of Immigration Commission, Vol. XXVIII. 


Considering the question from another viewpoint, that of the 
average number of children borne by women of the different races 
and nationalities in these different localities, among the women 
of American stock, the average number of children in Cleveland, 
Minneapolis, and Rhode Island, which are largely urban, is much 
the same, 2.4 and 2.5, while in the rural districts of both Ohio and 
Minnesota, the number of children is practically one more, 3.4. 

Among the women of foreign stock, the difference between 
city and country is not so decidedly marked, but there is also 
decided variation among the different races. The average num- 
ber of children borne by women under forty-five years of age, 
married from ten to nineteen years, was 2.7 for native white 
women of native parentage, and 4.4 for the native white women 
of foreign parentage. Among those races studied, the highest 
birth rate was found among the Eole 6.2 children for the 
women of the first generation and 5.1 for those of the second. 
Next to these rank the French Canadians with 5.8 for the first 
generation and 4.9 for the seconl37~Among the foreigners the low- 
est birth rate was found among the English, with 3.7 for the first 
generation and 2.9 for the second. The Scotch ranked almost 
the same with 3.8 in the first generation and 2.9 in the second. 

In practically all of these cases the number of children is 
larger in rural districts and smaller in the cities, although in the 
case of Poles in Ohio 6.1 was the rate in Cleveland to 5.6 in rural 
Ohio. The exception does not appear significant. 



Still another indication of the same tendency of the native" 
Americans and the second generation of immigrants to have 
fewer children is shown by the average number of years married 
for each child born to the women enumerated. As is to be ex- 
pected from what has preceded, the smallest average number of 
years is found among the Poles with 2.3 for the first generation 
and 2.6 for the second. The largest number of years is found 
among the English with 3.9 of the first generation and 5 of the 
second generation. The English Canadian, the Scotch, and the 


French all rank high, while the Italians, French Canadians, and 
Norwegians rank low. 

The general results seem to indicate that fecundity is much 
greater among women of foreign parentage than among the 
; American women of native parentage and usually greater among 
the immigrants than among their descendants. Generally speak- 
ing, also, the fecundity is greater in the rural districts than in the 
cities. Taking all the totals together, the fecundity seems great- 
est in the first generation of Polish women, wEo bore in the 
years indicated one child every 2.3 years, while it is least in the 
second generation of English women, who bore on the average 
one child only every five years. 


In many respects the most pitiful as well as the most revolting 
phase of the immigration question is that connected with the 
social evil or the white slave traffic. 

From the nature of the cases, it is, of course, impossible to 
get detailed statistics regarding the question. 1 From the figures 
collected in an investigation of four months in the New York 
City Night Court, November 15, 1908, to March. 15, 1909, it 
appears that 27.7 per cent of the women arrested and convicted 
for keeping disorderly houses and solicitation, were foreign- 
born. Of these foreign-born cases in the Night Court, 581 in 
all, the Hebrews furnished the largest number, 225, the French 
next with 154, followed by the Germans with 69. In cases of 
exclusion and deportation the figures are materially different. 
A very large proportion of the girls who come to our cities to 
engage in this business are from the country districts and are 
American-born, although very often they are immigrant girls 
who have entered factories of various types or have been engaged 
in such lines of activity that they are kept from the benefits of 
home influence. 


In very many other cases, however, an important indirect 
cause of their downfall seems to be economic, although dependent, 
largely, upon the other conditions surrounding their home life. 

1 Reports of Immigration Commission, Vol. XXXVH. 


In the very crowded districts of the great cities the conditions 
of living are such that the normal instincts of modesty and 
propriety are, in many cases, almost inevitably deadened, with 
the result that yielding to temptation is much easier and more 
frequent than would otherwise be the case. Low wages are in 
themselves scarcely ever a direct cause. 

The investigations of the Immigration Commission seem 
to show very clearly that the keepers of disorderly houses and 
those most actively engaged in the work of procuring inmates 
for these houses, either in this country or abroad, are either aliens 
or the children of aliens. 

All such figures, however, are likely to be misleading. The 
opinions of the agents of the Commission, of the police, and of 
others familiar with the situation, lead one to the conclusion that 
the largest proportion of prostitutes entering the country are 
French ; the Hebrews seem rather to have engaged in the life 
after entering the country. The Hebrews seem, on the other 
hand, to be more active as procurers and pimps in seducing the 
young girls here and persuading them to enter the life. 

The report of the Commission of Immigration for 1914 gives 
the total number of nationalities debarred for prostitution as 
follows : English, 57 ; French, 32 ; German, 37 ; Hebrew, 27 ; 
Mexicans, 107. Those debarred as procurers : English, 37 ; 
French, 14; Germans, 31; Hebrews, 6; Mexicans, 65. These 
figures bring into evil prominence the Mexicans and English. 
Deportation after admission shows like results. 1 


Of the women who are thus imported for immoral purposes, 
either willingly or against their will, certain nationalities seem to 
be especially prominent. The numbers of some of the different 
races convicted in the night court have been given on page 
289 ; but these convictions are, of course, no certain measure of 
the numbers or proportions of those imported. 


The motive of business profit has given the impulse which 
creates and upholds this traffic, whether carried on in this country 
1 Annual Report of the Commissioner General of Immigration, p. 105. 


or whether the women are imported. The persons actively en- 
gaged in enticing women into the business have only profit in view. 


In securing entry into this country contrary to law, these 
women are generally brought in as wives or relatives of the 
importers. It is usually very difficult, if not impossible, to 
detect these cases ; and after admission it is likewise extremely 
difficult to secure such evidence as to justify deportation. 

The system of exploitation on the part of the procurers and 
other persons engaged in the traffic is extremely brutal and 
revolting, resulting almost invariably in absolute poverty and 
dependence on the part of the victim and usually within a com- 
paratively short time in disease and an early death. 


* It is, of course, impossible to discuss in detail the evil results 
of this traffic in immigrants. Suffice it to say that it has materially 
heightened the gross evils of prostitution. Unnatural practices 
are brought largely from continental Europe ; the fiendish work 
of the procurers and pimps is largely done by aliens or immi- 
grants ; diseases are spread more widely among guilty and inno- 
cent; even the ancient vice of the use of men and boys for 
""immoral purposes is coming from abroad. 

Fortunately, the investigation of the Commission aroused the 
public to action. Their repoft has been followed by others made 
by private Commissions, especially in Chicago, Minneapolis, 
and New York. The governments and courts seem now to be 
doing really effective work. 


Under the recommendation of the Commission new laws have 
been passed by Congress, and in a number of our States much 
more stringent laws have been passed since the report of the 
Immigration Commission, so that at the present time, with a 
reasonable degree of effort on the part of well-meaning citizens 
and reasonable diligence on the part of the police officials and of 
the courts, the worst evils of the traffic may be, and in many 


instances have already been, decidedly checked and the worst 
criminals have in many instances been convicted. The remedy 
in this, as in most such matters, is to maintain a sufficient degree 
of intelligent knowledge on the part of the thoughtful normal 
citizen, and a willingness to deal with such a revolting subject 
with frankness, intelligence, conservatism and firmness, unmixed 
with fanaticism and prejudice. 


In most of the discussions on immigration that have appeared ~ 
during the last few years, whether the immigrant came from 
Europe or from Asia, great importance has been attached to 
the social effects of immigration arising from the personal quali- 
ties of the immigrants. Many have feared that the physical 
standards of the population of the United States would be lowered/ 
by the incoming of diseased persons ; that the arrival of immi-| 
grants and paupers would prove not merely a financial burden 
but also a menace to the morals of the community; while the 
late discussions over the white slave traffic and other forms of 
vice have served still more strongly to accentuate this belief 
in the social evils arising from immigration. 

The late investigations of the Immigration Commission show 
that, vital as the social effects are, relatively speaking, undue 
significance has been attached during the past few years to these 
social effects as a motive for legislation. While there are still 
many improvements to be made in our immigration laws and 
in their administration, nevertheless at the present time there 
is no serious danger to be apprehended immediately from the 
social defects of the immigrants, as has already been shown in 
this chapter. The number of persons afflicted with contagious I 
diseases or insanity, or the number of paupers or criminals arriv- 
ing, taking them as individuals, is very large, but taken as a 
percentage of the entire number coming is so small that too much 
heed need not be paid to it. Of course, this does not mean th 
we ought not to make every effort possible to lessen still further 
these evils. Every effort possible should be made, and special 
emphasis should be placed upon caring for the immigrants after 
their arrival, in order to bring them as soon as possible into 


harmony with our best institutions. But these evils should not 
blind our eyes to those of more far-reaching import. 

The chief danger of immigration lies, not in this direction. 
but in the field of industry. When immigrants who are unskilled 
laborers arrive in so large numbers that the tendency is for them 
to lower the average rate of wages and the standard of living 
among the wage earners, the danger is one much more far-reach- 
ing, and one to which our statesmen should give earnest atten- 
tion. This includes indirectly often social effects as well. A 
number of later chapters will serve to show how imminent this 
industrial danger is, in what form it appears, and the way in 
which it should be met. This, rather than the immediate social 
evils, is the most difficult phase of the immigration problem, 
and at the moment it is the most important phase. It is this 
that calls for prompt legislation. 



T)ERHAPS no question is of more paramount and continuing 
-L interest to the American people than immigration in all 
its phases and relations to public welfare. The history of the 
United States is the history of alien immigration. The earliest 
pioneers were themselves alien immigrants. Our institutions, 
political, religious, and social, have been founded and supported 
by aliens or their near descendants. Our country is indeed a 
melting pot, into which have been poured diverse varieties of 
peoples, from all nations and races. Yet in the face of this, 
these variant elements have been fused into a more or less homo- 
geneous nation. A national life and character we have. This 
national or American character is not exemplified in those places 
where the large streams of immigration are pouring in, but farther 
away where the waters have mixed. Such a condition, unique 
in the history of nations, is responsible for certain problems 
which are also unique in history, and consequently do not admit 
of solution according to precedents. 

The first rule of national life is self-preservation, and since 
immigration has had and still has so important a role in American 
national life, it must be carefully scrutinized to determine which 
immigrants are desirable, and vice versa, from the standpoint of 
the betterment and continuance of the American nation. The 
choice between free immigration, restricted immigration, and 
absolute exclusion is increasingly difficult to make, and does not 
enter our field of inquiry, except to recall a principle which is as 
valid from the medical standpoint as from the economic or social. 
Only those peoples should be admitted whom experience has 
shown will amalgamate quickly and become genuine citizens. 
The period of residence necessary for citizenship should be raised 

1 From The Popular Science Monthly, April, 1912. 

3 oo 


from three to five years, during which time the immigrant should 
be literally on probation, and subject to deportation if found 
wanting, or if unable to meet the qualifications of citizenship 
at the end of that time. The government should decide where 
the immigrant may settle and the immigration current should 
be directed to the Western and farming districts, and not allowed 
to stagnate in Eastern cities. 

The great mass of popular literature on the subject of immi- 
gration is singularly deficient in discussion and analysis of its 
medical features. It is true, the United States government be- 
stows on public health and preventive medicine nowhere near 
the attention it finds necessary for the prevention of disease in 
stock and for agricultural improvement, but none the less there 
are certain well-organized and efficiently operated agencies 
which have for their function the improvement of public hygiene 
and sanitation, the eradication of preventable disease, and the 
study of causation and methods of control of diseases. Most of 
these functions are exercised by the Public Health and Marine 
Hospital Service, which, strangely enough, constitutes a bureau 
under the Treasury Department. Some of this work is done 
under the Department of Agriculture, and other minor lines 
are scattered elsewhere through the national machinery. It is 
easily seen how much more efficient would be the work were all 
these agencies for national health protection united under one 
administrative head, and their various activities carefully coordi- 

The Public Health and Marine Hospital Service operates all 
national quarantine stations where inspection is made for yellow 
fever, typhus fever, smallpox, bubonic plague, leprosy, and chol- 
era; maintains hospitals throughout the country for sailors of 
the American merchant marine ; conducts the Hygienic Labora- 
tory at Washington for the study of the causation and treatment 
of diseases; exercises numerous minor functions of a national 
board of health ; and conducts the medical inspection of immi- 
grants. Certain diseases are found so frequently among immi- 
grants, and others are so inherently dangerous, as to merit special 
mention because of their important relation to public health. 
j First among these might be placed trachoma, a disease of the 
I eyelids characterized by extreme resistance to treatment, very 


chronic course, and most serious results. Most of the immigrant 
cases occur in Russians, Austrians, and Italians, although it is 
of common occurrence in oriental and Mediterranean countries. 
It causes a large percentage of the blindness in Syria and Egypt. 
Its contagious nature, together with the resulting scarring of the 
lids and blindness, make its recognition imperative. The hook- 
worm (Uncinaria) has received much attention lately since it 
has been found so widely distributed through the mountains 
of the South, the mines of California, the middle West, etc. It 
is a minute parasitic intestinal worm about tjiree fifths of an inch 
long, and under the microscope shows relatively enormous and 
powerful chitinous jaws by means of which it attaches itself to 
the intestinal walls. The saliva of the hookworm has the curious 
property of preventing coagulation of blood like leech extract, 
and when it is remembered that the worms may vary in number 
from several hundred to a thousand or more, and that each worm 
moves frequently from place to place on the intestinal wall, 
it is apparent how excessive and continuous is the drain on the 
blood and lymph juices. The result is an extreme anemia which 
brings in its wake a varied multitude of bodily ills, and may 
eventuate fatally, meanwhile having incapacitated the victim 
for mental or physical work. Infection can spread rapidly from 
a single case. Not many hookworm carriers have been discovered 
among immigrants, probably because the facilities for their 
detection are so meager. But the heavy immigration from coun- 
tries where uncinaria is abundant, a%well as the recent suggestive 
work of Dr. H. M. Manning at the Ellis Island Immigrant 
Hospital, indicates that there is a constant stream of fresh infec- 
tion pouring in. Indisputably routine examination for hook- 
worms should be instituted. The same can be said of other 
intestinal parasites as tapeworms, pinworms, whipworms, eel- 
worms and others. One of the tapeworms, the so-called fish 
worm (Dibothriocephalus latus) , leads to an anemia fully as severe 
as that from the hookworm. 

Many other diseases might be mentioned, but these are suffi- 
cient to illustrate the importance of careful medical inspection 
of immigrants. 

The total immigration into the United States through all ports 
of entry for the year ending June 30, 1911, was 1,052,649. Of 


these 22,349 were debarred for various reasons, leaving a net 
increase of 1,030,300. The chief port of entry is, of course, New 
York, where 749,642 aliens were examined. Next in order of 
importance came Boston, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, and at 
a greater distance Galveston, Tampa, San Francisco, Honolulu. 
Miami, and Portland, Maine. As the laws are uniform and the 
methods of inspection the same at all ports, consideration of 
methods and results at Ellis Island, New York, will give a clear 
idea of the entire subject. 

The medical inspecting service at Ellis Island is divided into 
three branches, the hospital, the boarding division, and the line, 
The hospital division presents an excellently equipped and man- 
aged institution, and an isolated set of buildings for contagious 
diseases. The hospital service is limited exclusively to immi- 
grants, and the patients are those acutely ill upon arrival, those 
taken sick during their stay on the island, and cases of. acute 
sickness among aliens already landed who for some reason have 
been brought to the island for deportation. 

The boarding division of the medical inspection on Ellis Island 
has for its particular function the inspection of aliens in the first 
and second cabins on board the incoming vessels. Those who 
require more detailed examination are sent to Ellis Island. 

The routine inspection on the line is that part which the visitor 
sees, and is the most important feature of the medical sieve 
spread to sift out the physically and mentally defective. The 
incoming immigrants pass in single file down two lines. Each 
of these lines makes a right-angled turn midway in its course. 
At this turn stands a medical officer. He sees each person directly 
from the front as he approaches, and his glance travels rapidly 
from feet to head. In this rapid glance he notes the gait, attitude, 
presence of flat feet, lameness, stiffness at ankle, knee, or hip, 
malformations of the body, observes the neck for goitre, mus- 
cular development, scars, enlarged glands, texture of skin, and 
finally as the immigrant comes up face to face, the examiner 
notes abnormalities of the features, eruptions, scars, paralysis, 
expression, etc. As the immigrant turns, in following the line, 
the examiner has a side view, noting the ears, scalp, side of neck, 
examining the hands for deformity or paralysis, and if anything 
about the individual seems suspicious, he is asked several 


questions. It is surprising how often a mental aberration will 
show itself in the reaction of the person to an unexpected question. 
As the immigrant passes on, the examiner has a rear view which 
may reveal spinal deformity or lameness. In case any positive 
or suspicious evidence of defect is observed, the immigrant re- 
ceives a chalk mark indicating the nature of the suspicious 

At the end of each line stands a second medical officer who does 
nothing but inspect eyes. He everts the eyelids of every person 
passing the line, looking for signs of trachoma, and also notes 
the presence of cataract, blindness, defective vision, acute condi- 
tions requiring hospital care, and any other abnormalities. All 
cases which have been marked on the line are separated from the 
others and sent to the medical examining rooms for careful 
examination and diagnosis. When it is remembered that often 
5000 immigrants pass in a day, it is clear that the medical 
officers not only are kept busy, but that they see an unusually 
wide variety of cases. 

After careful examination, the nature of the defect or disease 
found is put in the form of a medical certificate which must 
be signed by at least three of the physicians on duty. It is not 
within the province of the medical officers to pass judgment on 
the eligibility of the immigrant for admission. The medical 
certificate merely states the diagnosis, leaving to the immigra- 
tion inspector in the registry division the duty of deciding the 
question of admission. In the inspector's consideration are 
included not alone the medical report, but all other data con- 
cerning the applicant, such as age, money in his possession, previ- 
ous record, liability to become a public charge, and his sponsors. 

Most cases of trachoma and mental or organic nervous disease 
are sent to the hospital and kept under care and observation 
to facilitate an accurate diagnosis. Seldom indeed does the alien 
suffer from too harsh a medical judgment. He is given the 
benefit of a doubt always. For example, if a case of defective 
vision is found to be 3/20 normal, it would be certified as perhaps 
5/20 normal. 

The immigration law as it stands since the legislation of 1907^ 
divides all defective immigrants into the following classes : Class \ 
A, aliens whose exclusion is mandatory because of a definite and j 


specified defect or disease. Class B, aliens not under Class A, 
/but who possess some defect or disease which is likely to inter- 
fere with the ability to earn a living. Class C, aliens who present 
a defect or disease of still lesser seriousness, not affecting ability 
to earn a living, but which none the less must be certified for 
the information of the immigration inspectors. 

Under Class A, the excluded, are listed idiots, imbeciles, the 
feeble-minded; the epileptics, the insane, persons afflicted with 
tuberculosis of the respiratory, intestinal, or genito-urinary tracts, 
and loathsome or dangerous contagious diseases. By contagious 
the law means communicable. Loathsome contagious diseases 
include those whose presence excites abhorrence in others, and 
which are essentially chronic, such as favus, ringworm of the 
scalp, parasitic fungus diseases, Madura foot, leprosy, and venereal 
disease. Dangerous contagious diseases are such as trachoma, 
filariasis, hookworm infection, amoebic dysentery, and endemic 

Under Class B, diseases and defects not in Class A but which 
affect ability to earn a living, are such conditions as hernia, or- 
ganic heart disease, permanently defective nutrition and muscular 
or skeletal development, many deformities, varicosities of the 
lower extremities, premature senescence and arterial degenera- 
tion, certain nervous diseases, chronic joint inflammations, poor 
vision, and tuberculosis of the bones, skin, or glands. The immi- 
gration law makes no distinction between cabin and steerage 
aliens, and the medical officer has no duty beyond the purely 
medical inspection. 

Commissioner of Immigration Williams for the Port of New 
York in his recent report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1911, 
makes some pertinent observations and recommendations regard- 
ing the medical phases of the immigration question at Ellis Island. 
He finds that the present medical quarters are not large enough 
for the proper execution of the laws relating to physical and men- 
tal defectives. Expansion to an appropriate size is prevented 
by the failure of Congress to appropriate the funds requested. 
He notes the large number of feeble-minded children in the schools 
of New York City who have passed Ellis Island, and gives as 
one reason, lack of time and facilities for thorough examination 
as to mental condition. The result is that the law in this 


particular is practically a dead letter. According to the law, 
the feeble-minded as well as idiots and imbeciles are absolutely 
excluded. It is of vast import that the feeble-minded be detected, 
not alone because they are predisposed to become public charges, 
but because they and their offspring contribute so largely to 
the criminal element. All grades of moral, physical, and social 
degeneracy appear in their descendants, and it is apparent 
how grave is the social and economic problem involved. The 
steamship companies do not exercise proper precautions in receiv- 
ing immigrants for passage, and this makes all the more necessary 
a rigid inspection at the port of entry into this country. 

The report of the Chief Medical Officer on Ellis Island, Dr. 
G. W. S toner, shows that during the year ending June 30, 1911, 
nearly 17,000 aliens were certified for physical or mental defect 
and over 5000 of these were deported (not necessarily for medical 
reasons alone) . Among those certified were 209 mental defectives, 
of whom 45 per cent were feeble-minded, and 33 per cent in- 
sane. Under loathsome and dangerous contagious diseases there 
were 1361 cases, of which 85 per cent were trachoma. Over 
11,000 aliens had a defect or diseases affecting ability to earn a 
living and half of these were due to age and the changes incident 
to senescence. More than 4000 certificates were rendered for 
conditions not affecting ability to earn a living. 

Over 6000 aliens were treated in the immigrant hospital, 
beside 720 cases of contagious disease, which were transferred to 
the State Quarantine Hospital at the harbor entrance before the 
completion of the present contagious-disease hospital on Ellis 
Island. Among these 700 there were a hundred deaths, chiefly 
from measles, scarlet fever, and meningitis. The medical officers 
also examined 168 cases which had become public charges in 
surrounding towns of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, 
to determine the nature of the illness and if due to causes existing 
prior to landing. Chief among the contagious diseases were 
measles, chicken pox, diphtheria, and scarlet fever. The quaran- 
tinable diseases, cholera, leprosy, bubonic plague, smallpox, 
typhus and yellow fever, are removed at the New York Quaran- 
tine Station before the vessels are docked. 

Statistics such as these inevitably suggest a brief considera- j 
tion of the different sources of immigration and their relative I 


desirability from the medical standpoint. In general it may be 
said that the best class is drawn from northern and western 
Europe, and the poorest from the Mediterranean countries and 
western Asia. Among the worst are the Greeks, South Italians, 
and the Syrians, who emigrate in large numbers. The Greeks 
offer a sad contrast to their ancient progenitors, as poor physical 
development is the rule among those who reach Ellis Island, and 
they have above their share of other defects. 

The old question of the desirability of the Hebrew must be 
settled on other grounds than those of physical fitness alone, 
although even here the medical evidence is decidedly against 
him, as Dr. McLaughlin has shown that the proportion of defec- 
tives to total landed is greatest among the Syrians, i in 29, 
and next greatest among Hebrews, i in 42. Contrary to popular 
belief, the Jewish race is far from a pure stock, and has been 
colored by various and repeated admixtures with other bloods. 
Hence Jews of different nationalities differ considerably in their 
physical status and aptitude for American institutions, and for 
amalgamation with our body politic. Nojrace is desirable which 
does not tend to lose its distinctive traits in the process of blend- 
ing with our own social body. It would seem from history that 
the Jew only blends inadvertently and against his conscious 
endeavor and desire. Hence the process of true assimilation must 

be very backward. Moreover, in origin, racial traits, instincts 
and point of view, the Hebrew race is essentially oriental, and 
altogether there is at least ground for objection to unrestricted 
Jewish immigration. 

No one can mistake the pressing necessity for a solution of 
the immigration problem. The problem of New York City in 
this respect is unique and differs from that of the rest of the coun- 
try, because, as Walter Laidlaw points out, New York City is 
in reality a foreign city, inasmuch as in 1910 the native-born of 
native parents numbered only 193 in every 1000 inhabitants. 
This preponderating foreign element is due to the concentration 
of arrested immigration in New York. For the country as a 
whole, great interest attaches to the influence which the Panama 
Canal will exert in diverting immigration lines to southern and 
- Pacific coast points. New local problems will of course arise, 


but the basic proposition remains always the same. Immigration I 
should be restricted absolutely to such races as will amalgamate, / 
without lowering the standard of our own national life. 

In general, immigrants from the Mediterranean countries 
should be excluded, especially those from Greece, South Italy, 
and Syria, as well as most Hebrews, Magyars, Armenians, and 
Turks. Strict enforcement of the present medical laws will 
automatically exclude these races to a sufficient extent, admitting 
the few who are fit. This, combined with a strictly enforced 
five-year probation period, with deportation as the penalty 
for any criminal conviction or for failure to qualify for citizen- 
ship afterward, would go far toward relieving the situation. This 
need not disqualify aliens from travel in the United States. 

The immigrant per se has no moral or social right to enter"" 
this country against the will of its citizens. An enduring common- 
wealth must of necessity guard rigidly the health of its citizens 
and protect itself against undesirable additions from without. 
There was a time when European immigration was free, and 
almost entirely of desirable classes. That time has passed. The 
less desirable classes are increasing actually and relatively, and 
at the expense of the more desirable. It can truthfully be said 
that the dregs and off-scourings of foreign lands, the undesir- 
ables of whom their "own nations are- only too eager to purge 
themselves, come in hosts to our shores. The policy of those 
advocating free immigration would make this country in effect 
the dumping ground of the world. 

Exclusion of these undesirables works no injustice to the 
lands from which they come. A large emigration from a land 
usually is followed by an increased birth rate, and the net change 
is slightly affected, if at all. Admitting undesirables to this coun- 
try will in no wise elevate the world's human standard, because 
those undesirables will multiply as fast here as in their original 
home, and their stock will only become extinct when it ceases 
to perpetuate itself. High requirements for admission to this 
country reflexly raise standards of living and education in those 
lands from which our immigrants are drawn. This was illustrated 
in Italy a few years ago when the higher requirements for admis- 
sion caused an enforcement of the primary education laws which 


were dead letters before. Again, increase of a poorer class of 
immigration decreases the number of the better class and also 
decreases the chances of those who do come. 

The medical phases of immigration blend very quickly into 
the subjects of national health protection, national^eugenics^ 
and even the future existence of the ideals and standard of life 
which we are proud to call American. Conservatism and a 
carefully maintained medium between absolute exclusion and 
free immigration certainly seems the best policy. 




r I ^HE alarming increase of the number of alien criminals " has 

-L come to be the favorite topic for newspaper editorials when- 
ever a sensational crime is committed in the foreign section of 
some of our large cities. More recently the official statistician has 
fallen in line witji the popular sentiment. The Commissioner- 
General of Immigration, in his reports for the years 1908 and 
1909, dwells upon the increase of the number of aliens in penal 
institutions from 1904 to 1908. The superintendent of the state 
prisons of the state of New York, in his report for the year 1909, 
emphasizing "the recent remarkable increase in prison popula- 
tion," gives expression to the view "that the crowded condition 
of our prisons is largely due to the influx of immigrants during 
the last few years." 

" A large proportion of the vicious and ignorant . . . make the 
large cities their headquarters. Thus there is forced upon New 
York state and upon its charitable and penal institutions more 
than their due proportion of the undesirable classes of immigrants, 
the lawless, the illiterate, and the defective." As a remedy, he 
recommends "the exclusion of this undesirable class of immi- 

Yet the very fact of this sudden increase of the rate of delin- 
quency and dependency within so short a period would suggest to 
an unbiased student of social phenomena the working of some 
extraordinary cause. If it be remembered that the later statistics 
for the United States relate to the year 1908, which was a year of 
industrial depression, the explanation of this sudden increase 
of crime, insanity, and pauperism among aliens will become 

Conceding, for the sake of argument, the contention of the 
superintendent of New York state prisons that the state of New 

1 From The American Journal of Sociology, January, 1912. 

3 io 


York bears more than its proportionate share of the burden of 
crime, it is instructive to compare the average daily population 
of the three state prisons for each of the last ten years. 





2 ,776 

} 384 

I QO2 



3-21 7 




-f i 


2 4.64. 

4- 1 


2 ,472 

+ 1 


2 4^6 

+ 2 





A A.2O 

+ 11 

We note that between the years 1900 and 1907 the average 
daily prison population fluctuated but very slightly from year to 
year, falling at times 4 per cent below or rising 3 per cent above 
the starting-point. According to the state census of 1905, the 
population of the state increased from 1900 to 1905 by n per 
I cent; a large share of that increase was due to immigration; 
Lihus relatively to the population, crime was decreasing. The 
"years 1908 and 1909, however, show a sudden increase of the 
prison population ; those were precisely the years when emigra- 
tion of aliens from the United States assumed unprecedented 
proportions. From the month of December, 1907, to the month 
of August, 1908, emigration from the United States exceeded 
immigration by 124,124 persons, while from June 3, 1900, to 
June 30, 1907, the net addition through immigration to the popu- 
lation of the United States was 4,500,000 persons of whom the 
i state of New York received a proportionate share. In other 
I words, the wave of criminality coincided with the lowest ebb of 
\immigration, while the high tide of immigration was contemporaneous 
\with a decrease of crime. 

This conclusion is fully borne out by the annual statistics of 
crime in the state of New York for the period commencing 1830. 
Two features stand out conspicuously: first, that taking the 


three quarters of a century covered as a whole, the increase of 
crime merely keeps pace with the growth of population ; second, 
that annual figures are subject to very sharp fluctuations. Any 
comparison between two years chosen at random must necessarily 
be fallacious. For example, if the years 1878 and 1894 were 
chosen for comparison, one might reach the conclusion that the 
number of convictions showed a very encouraging decrease of 
crime. As that period witnessed the beginning and rapid growth 
of immigration from Russia, it might be further argued that the 
decrease of crime in the state of New York was due to the moral 
influence of Russian immigrants upon the people of the state of 
New York. This inference would be precisely on a par with the 
conclusions drawn by the Immigration Restriction League from 
a comparison of the prosperous year 1904 with the year 1908, 
a year of industrial depression. A scientific study of the effects 
of immigration upon criminality must cover a long period, em- 
bracing years of prosperity and industrial depression, so that 
all casual, transitory, and temporary influences may as far as 
possible be eliminated. 

Do the statistics of crime in the state of New York justify the 
fears of the alarmist? Table II shows the relative number of 
convictions for every 100,000 population at each census from 
1830 to 1905 : 







I O^O 


r t 


I 34.3 

2 4.2Q 



I <ZX2 

3 o87 


1860 .... 

i 601 

3 881 



2 I Cl 

A 2,83 


1880 . . 

2 SAY 

C 083 



-3 264. 




7 260 



A QA2 



kit appears from this table that the relative rate of criminality 
Q 1890 was the same as in 1840, notwithstanding the change in 

3 I2 


the racial composition of the population of the state. In the 
year 1900 there was just one more conviction for every 100,000 
of the population than in 1890, and in 1905 four convictions per 
100,000 population in excess of 1900. Certainly, there is no 
occasion to go into hysterics. 

Still, as stated before, the number of convictions for a single 
year may be exceptionally high or low, and a comparison compris- 
ing even a number of single years may accordingly be misleading. 
In order to eliminate the effect of annual fluctuations of the num- 
ber of convictions, the average annual number of convictions for 
each period between two census years is compared in Table III 
with the average annual increase of the population of the state 
of New York, for the same periods. 







Annual Average 

Percentage Increase 
( + ), or Decrease (-) 



I O^7 


I J.7A 


I 734. 


+ 17 7 

2 r ? 


+ 28 I 


31 r 2 



2 QOO 


18 o 




+ 28.8 
+ 20 8 

22 O 

It is worthy of note that in 1861-1870 the number of convictions 
was increasing faster than during the preceding decade 1851- 
1860, while the growth of population was slowing down. On the 
contrary, a comparison of the decades 1881-1890 and 1871-1880 
shows that the number of convictions fell off, while the popula- 
tion was increasing faster; the same tendency was manifest 
during .the period 1901-1905, as compared with 1891-1900. 
This would seem to indicate that the causes which are favorable 
to the growth of population tend to reduce crime, and vice versa, the 
causes which retard the growth of population are productive of an 
increase of crime. 


Let us next examine the effect of immigration upon criminality 
in the state of New York. The census statistics of foreign-born do 
not go farther back than 1850. In Table IV the percentage of 
foreign-born at each census is collated with the ratio of the average 
annual number of convictions for each decade ending on a census 
year to the average population for the same decade ; the average 
population is taken to be the arithmetical mean of the totals for 
two successive censuses. 

From 1850 to 1860 the foreign-born population of New York 
increased relatively to the total population of the state, but the 
annual average number of convictions during the decade 1851- 
1860 fell below the average for 1841-1850. From 1870 to 1880 
the number of foreign-born decreased relatively to the total 
population ; at the same time the annual rate of convictions in- 
creased as compared with the preceding decade. From 1880 to 
1890 this movement was reversed : the foreign-born population 
went up and the rate of criminality went down. Again from 
1890 to 1900 the percentage of foreign-born slightly decreased, 
and the rate of criminality showed a small increase. These 
tendencies appear still more pronounced, if we compare the in- 
crease of the number of convictions with the increase of the 
foreign-born and the total population of the state for_the census 
years 1850-1900, as shown in Table IV. 
















1850 .... 




1860 .... 

1, 60 1 






1870 .... 







1880 .... 







1890 .... 







1900 .... 







In 1860, when th,e rate of increase of the foreign-born population 
was at its apex, the rate of criminality was at its bottom. Toward 
1870 the rate of increase of the foreign-born dropped, but the 


rate of increase of the number of convictions made a big jump. 
From 1880 to 1890 the rate of increase of the foreign-born went 
up, at the same time the rate of increase of the number of con- 
victions went down. From 1890 to 1900 the two movements were 
reversed. In short, an increase of the percentage of the foreign-born 
population is accompanied by a decrease of criminality, and vice versa. 
This fact shows that the same conditions which attract the 
immigrant to the United States tend to reduce the rate of crim- 

Turning to the statistics of crime among native and foreign- 
born, we find them summed up in the following statement of the 
census report on "Prisoners." "From these figures [i.e., from 
I the number of commitments], as well as from those for prisoners 
! enumerated on June 30, 1904, it is evident that the popular 
belief that the foreign born are filling the prisons has little founda- 
tion in fact." 

A comparison of the figures for 1904 with those for 1890 shows 
j that the ratio of foreign-born among the white prisoners fell 
I from 28.3 to 23.7 per cent, while the percentage of native prisoners 
increased from 71.8 to 76.3 per cent (op. cit., p. 18). 

Is there any evidence of a change in this respect since 1904? 
This question can best be answered by an examination into the 
nativity of the persons convicted in 1908 in the courts of record 
of the state of New York. The year 1908, as stated, showed a 
marked increase of crime, and of all states the state of New York 
is alleged to be the greatest sufferer from the influx of foreign 

The nativity of the persons convicted in courts of record in 
1908 was as follows : 

Natives of the United States 4,392 

Foreign-born 2,687 

Nativity unknown 272 

Total for the state 7,351 

To compare these figures with the distribution of the population 
of the state by nativity, it must be noted that of the total number 
of prisoners only 38 were under fifteen years of age and only 361, 
or 5 per cent, were women. In the foreign-born population, 
however, the percentages of children under 15 and of women, who 


contribute very few criminals, are lower than among the native, 
while the percentage of males fifteen years of age and over who 
contribute the bulk of criminals is higher in the foreign-born 
than in the native population. A fair comparison should con- 
sider only the ratio of male offenders fifteen years of age and over 
to the total male population of the same age groups. 1 

Inasmuch as the statistics of the secretary of state of New York 
contain no classification of the native and foreign-born offenders 
by age and sex, estimates have to be resorted to. The number of 
offenders under fifteen years being very small, we may assume that 
they were all native boys and deduct their number from that of 
native offenders ; we shall thereby reduce the rate of native crimi- 
nality and increase relatively the percentage of foreign criminals. 
The number of foreign-born male offenders would be further 
increased, if we were to follow the same method with regard to 
female offenders and charge all women convicted in courts, of 
record to the group of native offenders. There is no reason, how- 
ever, to assume that the native women numerically predominate 
among female offenders. We may accordingly assume that the 
percentage of foreign-born among female offenders is the same as 
among male offenders. 

1 "If the general population of all ages be taken, the basis for the comparison will 
not be equitable for several reasons. Inmates of the general prisons are all at least 
ten years of age and nearly all over fifteen. For the most part the immigrants 
are between fifteen and forty years of age. The number of children under ten 
years of age is extremely small among the white immigrants as compared with the 
native whites. In view of these facts a comparison of the proportions of each 
nativity class in the white prison population with the corresponding proportions of 
the general population of all ages would clearly be unfair, for the inclusion of chil- 
dren under ten years of age would so increase the proportion of native in the 
general population that it would seem as if crime were more prevalent among the 
foreign-born as compared with the native white than is actually the case. . . . 
Of the whites at least ten years of age in the general population of the United 
States in 1900, 19.5 per cent were foreign-born, while of the white prisoners of 
known nativity enumerated on June 30, 1904, 23.7 per cent were foreign-born. The 
foreign-born element therefore appears to be more prominent in the white population 
of prisons than in the general white population. In some respects, however, a 
comparison with the total white population ten years of age and over is hardly 
fair to the foreign-born. Very few prisoners are under the age of fifteen, and the 
great majority of prisoners, 94.5 per cent of the total number, are males. There- 
fore it is perhaps more significant when the percentage of foreign-born among white 
prisoners is compared with the percentage of foreign-born in the white population 
fifteen years of age and over, classified by sex." " Prisoners and Juvenile Delin- 
quents" (Census report), pp. 18-19. 


It is probable that of the 272 convicted persons whose nativity 
was unknown very few were foreigners, as their speech and 
appearance did not mark them as such. By leaving this group 
out of consideration, we again reduce the number of native 
offenders relatively to the foreign-born. On the other hand, the 
census figures giving the distribution of the population by nativity 
relate to the year 1900, whereas the phenomenal immigration of 
recent years must have increased the percentage of foreign-born 
in the population of the state of New York. In every respect, 
therefore, our statistics must be unfavorable to the foreign-born. 
Let us now compare the percentages of native and foreign-born 
among all offenders fifteen years of age and over, whose nativ- 
ity is known, and among the male population of the state in the 
same age groups. 
















Foreign-born .... 





Thus, with every allowance in favor of the native and against the 
foreign-born, the ratio of foreign-born criminals is only 2.7 per 
cent in excess of the ratio of foreign-born males to the total 
male population of the state. The preceding table does not 
include the more numerous class of minor offenders convicted at 
Special Sessions. In Table VI the convictions in the minor 
courts in 1908 are classified by character of offense separately 
for the counties of New York and Kings, comprising the three 
most densely settled boroughs of Manhattan, Bronx, and Brook- 
lyn, and for the rest of the state. The population of these three 
boroughs in 1900 contained 1,207,000, i.e. nearly two thirds of 
the 1,900,000 foreign-born of the state of New York. The per- 
centage of foreign-born in these three boroughs was 37.5, while 



in the rest of the state of New York it was only 17.1 per cent. 
In 1908 the percentage of foreign-born in New York City was 
in all probability considerably higher than in 1900. If the foreign- 
born furnished a higher percentage of criminals than the native, 
this tendency should loom up conspicuous in the comparison 
between greater New York and the rest of the state. What are 
the facts ? 



(In thousands) 


Total State 
New York 

New York 
and Kings 


New York 
and Kings 

C ounties 

Petit larceny 
Assault, third degree . . 
All other offenses .... 

Population, 1905 .... 












The three principal boroughs of New York City in 1905 contained 
nearly one half of the population of the state, yet they furnished 
only 28 per cent of all convictions for assault and 17.7 per cent 
of the most numerous class of minor offenses ; petty larceny 
was the only offense whose frequency was proportionate to the 
population of the great city. Thus, though the three boroughs 
had twice as many foreign-born in proportion to their population 
as the rest of the state, New York City had relatively no more 
pickpockets than the rest of the state, and the number of all 
other minor offenders was in proportion much smaller in the 
three boroughs than up state. And that in a year which broke 
the record of crime. 

The popular opinion that the immigrants furnish a high per- 
centage of criminals rests upon the belief that this country is 
used as a hiding place by fugitive criminals from all quarters of 
the world. There are no statistics relative to the criminal records 
of the immigrants previous to their admission to this country. 
But the statistics of crime in the state of New York, which is 


said to hold more than its proportionate share of the lawless 
immigrants, warrant only one of the following two conclusions : 
Either the new environment enables this invading army of 
immigrants with criminal records to keep within the law ; or else 
the criminal classes of Europe, contrary to the popular belief, 
furnish less than their proportionate quota of immigrants 
which is quite plausible, since the criminals belong to the sub- 
merged portion of the population and are kept at home by want 
of funds with which to pay for their passage. 




ON a single Chicago hoarding, before the spring election of 
1912, the writer saw the political placards of candidates 
with the following names : Kelly, Cassidy, Slattery, Alschuler, 
Pfaelzer, Bartzen, Umbach, Andersen, Romano, Knitckoff, 
Deneen, Hogue, Burres, Short. The humor of calling " Anglo- 
Saxon" the kind of government these gentlemen will give is. 
obvious. At that time, of the eighteen principal personages / 
in the city government of Chicago, fourteen had Irish names, 
and three had German names. Of the eleven principal officials 
in the city government of Boston, nine had Irish names, and of 
the forty-nine members of the Lower House from the city of 
Boston, forty were obviously of Hibernian extraction. In San 
Francisco, the mayor, all the heads of the municipal depart- 
ments, and ten out of eighteen members on the board of super- 
visors, bore names reminiscent of the Green Isle. As far back as 
1871, of 112 chiefs of police from twenty-two States who attended 
the national police convention, seventy-seven bore Irish names, 
and eleven had German names. In 1881, of the chiefs of police 
in forty-eight cities, thirty-three were clearly Irish, and five were 
clearly German. 

In 1908, on the occasion of a " home-coming " celebration in 
Boston, a newspaper told how the returning sons of Boston were 
"greeted by Mayor Fitzgerald and the following members 
of Congress : O'Connell, Keliher, Sullivan, and McNary - 
following in the footsteps of Webster, Sumner, Adams, and 
Hoar. They were told of the great work as Mayor of the late 
beloved Patrick Collins. At the City Hall they found the sons 
of Irish exiles and immigrants administering the affairs of the 

1 From The Century Magazine, January, 1914. 


metropolis of New England. Besides the Mayor, they were 
greeted by John J. Murphy, Chairman of the board of assessors, 
Commissioner of Streets Doyle, and Commissioner of Baths 
O'Brien. Mr. Coakley is the head of the Park Department, and 
Dr. Durgin directs the Health Department ; the Chief of the Fire 
Department is John A. Mullen, head of the Municipal Printing 
Plant is Mr. Whelan, Superintendent of the Street Cleaning 
is Cummings ; Superintendent of Sewers is Leahy ; Superintend- 
ent of Buildings is Nolan; City Treasurer, Slattery; Police 
Commissioner, O'Meara." 

LThe Irish domination of our Northern cities is the broadest 
ark immigration has left on American politics ; the immigrants 
from Ireland, for the most part excessively poor, never got their 
feet upon the land as did the Germans and the Scandinavians, 
but remained huddled in cities. United by strong race feelings, 
they held together as voters, and, although never a clear majority, 
were able in time to capture control of most of the greater mu- 
nicipalities. Now, for all their fine Celtic traits, these Irish im- 
migrants had neither the temperament nor the training to make 
\ a success of popular government. They were totally without 
experience of the kind Americans had acquired in the working 
of democratic institutions. The ordinary American by this 
time had become tinctured with the spirit of legalism. Many 
voters were able to look beyond the persons involved in a political 
contest and recognize the principles at stake. Such popular 
maxims as : "No man should be a judge in his own case," "The 
ballot a responsibility," "Patriotism above party," "Measures, 
not men," "A public office is a public trust," fostered self-restraint 
and helped the voters to take an impersonal, long-range view 
of political contests. 

Warm-hearted, sociable, clannish, and untrained, the natural- 
ized Irish failed to respect the first principles of civics. "What 
is the Constitution between friends?" expresses their point of 
view. In their eyes, an election is not the decision of a great, 
impartial jury, but a struggle between the "ins" and the "outs." 
Those who vote the same way are "friends." To scratch or to 
bolt is to "go back on your friends." Places and contracts are 
"spoils." The official's first duty is to find berths for his sup- 
porters. Not fitness, but party work, is one's title to a place on 


the municipal pay roll. The city employee is to serve his party 
rather than the public that pays his salary. Even the justice of 
courts is to become a matter of "pull" and "stand in," rather 
than of inflexible rules. 

A genial young Harvard man who has made the Good Govern- 
ment movement a power in a certain New England city said 
to me : "The Germans want to know which candidate is better 
qualified for the office. Among the Irish I have never heard 
such a consideration mentioned. They ask, 'Who wants this 
candidate?' 'Who is behind him?' I have lined up a good 
many Irish in support of Good Government men, but never by 
setting forth the merits of a matter or a candidate. I approach 
my Irish friends with the personal appeal, 'Do this for me!' 
Nearly all the Irish who support our cause do it on a personal 
loyalty basis. The best of the Irish in this city have often done 
as much harm to the cause of Good Government as the worst. 
Mayor C., a high-minded Irishman desiring to do the best he 
could for the city, gave us as bad a government as Mayor F., 
who thought of nothing but feathering his own nest. Mayor C. 
'stood by his f fiends. " ; 

The Hibernian domination has given our cities genial officials, 
brave policemen, and gallant fire-fighters. It has also given J 
them the name of being the worst-governed cities in the civilized ' 
world. The mismanagement and corruption of the great cities 
of America have become a planetary scandal, and have dealt 
the principle of manhood suffrage the worst blow it has received 
in the last half century. Since the close of the Civil War, hun- 
dreds of thousands of city dwellers have languished miserably 
or perished prematurely from the bad water, bad housing, poor 
sanitation, and rampant vice in American municipalities run 
on the principles of the Celtic clan. 

On the other hand, it is likely that our British, Teutonic, 
Scandinavian, and Jewish naturalized citizens still more our 
English-Canadian voters have benefited American politics. 
In politics men are swayed by passion, prejudice, or reason. 
By the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the average Ameri- 
can had come to be on his guard against passion in politics, but 
not yet had he reached the plane of reason. This left him the 
prey of prejudice. Men inherited their politics, and bragged of 


having always " voted straight." They voted Democratic for 
Jefferson's sake, or Republican from love of Lincoln. The citi- 
zens followed ruts, while the selfish interests "followed the ball." 
Now, the intelligent naturalized foreigner, having inherited none 
of our prejudices, would not respond to ancient cries or wartime 
issues. He inquired pointedly what each party proposed to do 
now. The abandonment of " waving the bloody shirt" and the 
sudden appearance of the politics of actuality in the North, in 
the eighties, came about through the naturalization of Karl and 
Ole. The South has few foreign-born voters, and the South is 
precisely that part of the country in which the reign of prejudice 
in politics has longest delayed the advent of efficient and progres- 
sive government. 

In 1910 there were certainly three million naturalized citizens 
in the United States. In southern New England and New York 
they constitute a quarter of all the white voters. The same is 
true of Illinois and the Old Northwest. In Providence, Buffalo, 
Newark, St. Paul, and Minneapolis, there are two foreign voters 
to three native white voters. In Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland, 
and Boston, the ratio is about one to two. In Paterson, Chicago, 
and New York, the ratio is nearer three to five, and in Fall River 
it is three to four. When the foreigners are intelligent and experi- 
enced in the use of the "Ballot, their civic worth does not suffer 
by comparison with that of the natives. Indianapolis and Kansas 
City, in which the natives outnumber the naturalized ten to one, 
do not overshadow in civic excellence the Twin Cities of Minne- 
sota, with three natives to two naturalized. Cleveland, in which 
the naturalized citizens constitute a third, is politically superior 
to Cincinnati, in which they are less than a sixth. Chicago, with 
thrice the proportion of naturalized citizens Philadelphia has, 
was roused and struggling with the python of corruption while 
yet the city by the Delaware slept. 

The machine in power uses the foreigner to keep in power. 
The Italian who opens an ice-cream parlor has to have a victual- 
er's license, and he can keep this license only by delivering Italian 
votes. The Polish saloon keeper loses his liquor license if he fails 
to line up his fellow-countrymen for the local machine. The 
politician who can get dispensations for the foreigners who want 
their beer on a Sunday picnic is the man who attracts the foreign 


vote. Thus, until they get their eyes open and see how they are 
being used, the foreigners constitute an asset of the established 
political machine, neutralizing the antimachine ballots of an 
equal number of indignant American voters. 

The saloon is often an independent sway of the foreign vote. 
The saloon keeper is interested in fighting all legal regulation 
of his own business, and of other businesses gambling, dance 
halls, and prostitution which stimulate drinking. If "blue" 
laws are on the statute book, these interests may combine to seat 
in the mayor's chair a man pledged not to enforce them. Even 
if the saloon keeper has no political ax of his own to grind, 
his masters, the brewers, will insist that he get out the vote for 
the benefit of themselves or their friends. Since liberal plying 
with beer is a standard means of getting out the foreign vote, the 
immigrant saloon keeper is obliged to become the debaucher 
and betrayer of his fellow-countrymen. In Chicago the worthy 
Germans and Bohemians are marshaled in the "United Societies," 
ostensibly social organizations along nationality lines, but really 
the machinery through which the brewers and liquor dealers 
may sway a foreign-born vote not only in defense of liquor, but 
also in defense of other corrupt and affiliated interests. 

The foreign press is another means of misleading the naturalized 
voters. These newspapers, Polish, Bohemian, Italian, Greek, 
Yiddish, etc., while they have no small influence with their 
readers, are poorly supported, and often in financial straits. 
Many of them, therefore, can be tempted to sell their political 
influence to the highest bidder, which is, of course, the party 
representing the special interests. Thus the innocent foreign- 
born readers are led like sheep to the shambles, and Privilege 
gains another intrenching-tool. 


If the immigrant is neither debauched nor misled, but votes 
his opinions, is he then an element of strength to us ? 

When a people has reached such a degree of political like- 
mindedness that fundamentals are taken for granted, it is free 
to tackle new questions as they come up. But if it admits to 
citizenship myriads of strangers who have not yet passed the 



civic kindergarten, questions that were supposed to be settled 
are reopened. The citizens are made to thresh over again old 
straw the relation of church to state, of church to school, 
of state to parent, of law to the liquor trade. Meanwhile, ripe 
sheaves ready to yield the wheat of wisdom under the flails of 
discussion lie untouched. Pressing questions public hygiene, 
conservation, the control of monopoly, the protection of labor 
V go to the foot of the docket, and public interests suffer. 

Some are quite cheerful about the confusion, cross-purposes, 
and delay that come with heterogeneity, because they think 
the variety of views introduced by immigration is a fine thing, 
"keeps us from getting into a rut." The plain truth is, that 
rarely does an immigrant bring in his intellectual baggage any- 
thing of use to us. The music of Mascagni and Debussy, the 
plays of Ibsen and Maeterlinck, the poetry of Rostand and 
Hauptmann, the fiction of Jokai and Sienkiewicz were not brought 
to us by way of Ellis Island. What we want is not ideas merely, 
but fruitful ideas, fructifying ideas. By debating the ideas of 
Nietzsche, Ostwald, Bergson, MetchnikofT, or Ellen Key, Ameri- 
can thought is stimulated. But should we gain from the intro- 
duction of old Asiatic points of view, which would reopen such 
questions as witchcraft, child-marriage, and suttee? The flash- 
ings that arise from the presence among us of many voters with 
medieval minds are sheer waste of energy. While we Americans 
wrangle over the old issues of clericalism, separate schools, and 
"personal liberty," the little homogeneous peoples are forging 
ahead of us in rational politics and learning to look pityingly 
upon us as a chaos rather than a people. 


If you should ask an Englishman whether the tone of political 
life in his country would remain unaffected by the admission 
to the electorate of a couple of million Cypriotes, Vlachs, and 
Bessarabians after five years' residence, he would take you for 
a madman. Suggest to the German that the plane of political 
intelligence in reading and thinking Germany would not be low- 
ered by the access to the ballot box of multitudes of Serbs, 
Georgians, and Druses of Lebanon, and he will consign you to 


bedlam. Assure the son of Norway that the vote of the Persian 
or Yemenite, of sixty months' residence in Norway, will be as 
often wise and right as his own, and he will be insulted. It is 
only we Americans who assume that the voting of the Middle 
Atlantic States, with their million naturalized citizens, or of the 
East North Central States, with their million, is as sane, discrimi- 
nating, and forward-looking as it would be without them. 

The Italian historian and sociologist Ferrero, after reviewing 
our immigration policy, concludes that the Americans, far from 
being "practical," are really the mystics of the modern world. 

He says : 


To confer citizenship each year upon great numbers of men 
born and educated in foreign countries men who come with ideas 
and sympathies totally out of spirit with the diverse conditions in 
the new country ; to grant them political rights they do not want, 
and of which they have never thought; to compel them to declare 
allegiance to a political constitution which they often do not under- 
stand ; to try to transform subjects of old European monarchies into ' 
free citizens of young American republics over night is not all 
this to do violence to common sense? 



THIS feature of the Immigration Commission's general report 
is a brief review of the sentiment toward immigration as 
expressed in legislation, or attempts at legislation, upon the 
subject in Congress. For convenience, the review is divided into 
four periods, namely : From colonial times to 183*5 > the "Native 
American" and "Know-Nothing" period, 1835-1860; end of 
state control, 1861-1882 ; period of national control, 1882 to 
the present time. 

During the period first mentioned immigration was taken as a 
matter of course ; the only legislation enacted, and practically all 
that was proposed, was the law of 1819 for the regulation of the 
carriage of steerage passengers at sea, which law also for the first 
time provided that statistics relative to immigration to the United 
States be recorded. 


The second period, from 1835 to T 86o, is sharply defined by the 
so-called " Native American" and "Know-Nothing" movement, 
which, as is well known, were largely based on opposition to the 
immigration of Catholics. The hostility early took the form of a 
political movement, and in 1835 there was a Nativist candidate 
for Congress in New York City, and in the following year that 
party nominated a candidate for mayor of the same city. In 
Germantown, Pennsylvania, and in Washington, D. C., Nativist 
societies were formed in 1837, while in Louisiana the movement 
was organized in 1839 and a state convention was held two years 
later. It was at this convention that the Native American party, 
under the name of the American Republican party, was established. 

In 1845 ^e Nativist movement claimed 48,000 members in 
New York, 42,000 in Pennsylvania, 14,000 in Massachusetts, 
and 6000 in other States, while in Congress it had six 



Representatives from New York and two from Pennsylvania. 
The first national convention of Native Americans was held in 
Philadelphia in 1845, when 141 delegates were present and a 
national platform was adopted. The chief demands of this con- 
vention were a repeal of the naturalization laws and the ap- 
pointment of native Americans only to office . 

While these societies were stronger in local politics than in 
national, and were organized chiefly to aid in controlling local 
affairs, their few representatives in Congress attempted to make 
Nativism a national question. As a result of their efforts, the 
United States Senate in 1836 agreed to a resolution directing the 
Secretary of State to collect certain information respecting the 
immigration of foreign paupers and criminals. In the House of 
Representatives on February 19, 1838, a resolution was agreed to 
which provided that the Committee on the Judiciary be instructed 
to consider the expediency of revising the naturalization laws so 
as to require a longer term of residence in the United States, and 
also provide greater security against frauds in the process of 
obtaining naturalization. The committee was further instructed 
to consider the propriety and expediency of providing by law 
against the introduction into the United States of vagabonds and 
paupers deported from foreign countries. This resolution was 
referred to a select committee of seven members, and its report 
was the first resulting from a congressional investigation of 
any question bearing upon immigration. Four members of the 
committee were from New York and Massachusetts, which were 
then the chief centers of the antiforeign movement, and its 
report recommended immediate legislative action, not only by 
Congress, but also by many of the states, so that alleged evils 
could be remedied and impending calamities averted. Two 
southern members of the committee and the member from Ohio 
did not concur in the report. It is interesting to note that a 
recommendation to this committee by the Native American 
Association of Washington urged that a system of consular 
inspection be instituted, a plan that in recent years has been 
repeatedly recommended to Congress. The plan was to make 
the immigrant, upon receiving his passport from the consul, pay 
a tax of $20. The committee, however, did not include this 
provision in its recommendations to Congress. 


The bill presented on recommendation of the committee pro- 
vided that any master taking on board his vessel with the inten- 
tion of transporting to the United States any alien passenger 
who was an idiot, lunatic, maniac, or one afflicted with any 
incurable disease, or any one convicted of an infamous crime, 
should be fined $1000, or be imprisoned not less than one year 
nor more than three. It was further provided that the master 
should forfeit #1000 for any alien brought in who had not the 
ability to maintain himself. Congress did not even consider 
this bill, and during the next ten years little attempt was made 
to secure legislation against the foreigner. 

In the message to Congress on June i, 1841, President Tyler 
referred to immigration in part as follows : 

We hold out to the people of other countries an invitation to come 
and settle among us as members of our rapidly growing family ; and 
for the blessings which we offer them, we require of them to look 
upon our country as their country, and unite with us in the great task 
of preserving our institutions and thereby perpetuating our liberties. 


As a consequence of the sudden and great increase of immigra- 
tion from Europe between 1848 and 1850, the old dread of the 
foreigner was revived, and in the early fifties the native Americans 
again became active. The new, like the earlier movement, was 
closely associated with the anti-Catholic propaganda. The new 
organization assumed the form of a secret society. It was 
organized probably in 1850 in New York City, and in 1852 it 
was increased in membership by drawing largely from the old 
established Order of United Americans. Its meetings were 
secret, its indorsements were never made openly, and even its 
name and purpose were said to be known only to those who 
reached the highest degree. Consequently the rank and file, 
when questioned about their party, was obliged to answer, " I 
f don't know" ; so they came to be called " Know-No things." 

By 1854 much of the organization's secret character had been 
discarded. Its name Order of the Star Spangled Banner - 
and its meeting places were known, and it openly indorsed can- 
didates for office and put forth candidates of its own. It is 


recorded that in 1855 in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode 
Island, Connecticut, New York, California, and Kentucky the 
governors and legislature were "Know-Nothings," while the 
party had secured the choice of the land commissioner of Texas 
and the legislature and comptroller of Maryland, and had almost 
carried the States of Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts, 
Louisiana, and Texas. 

Encouraged by its success in local affairs, the "Know-Nothing " 
party in 1855 began to make plans for the presidential election. 
In that year a national council was held at Philadelphia. A plat- 
form was adopted which called for a change in the existing natural- 
ization laws, the repeal by the legislatures of several States of 
laws allowing foreigners not naturalized to vote, and also for a 
repeal by Congress of all acts making grants of land to unnatural- 
ized foreigners and allowing them to vote in the Territories. 

In the following year a national convention of the party was 
held in Philadelphia, and 27 States were represented by 227 
delegates. Nearly all the delegates from New England, Ohio, 
Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Iowa withdrew from the convention 
when a motion was made to nominate a candidate for President. 
The withdrawing minority wanted an antislavery plank. 
Those remaining nominated Millard Fillmore for President. 
The principles of the platform adopted at this convention were 
that Americans must rule America, and to this end native-born 
citizens should be selected for all state, federal, and municipal 
government employment in preference to all others. A change 
in the laws of naturalization, making continued residence of 
twenty-one years an indispensable requisite for citizenship, and 
a law excluding all paupers or persons convicted of crime from 
landing in the United States, were demanded. 

Millard Fillmore was also nominated for the presidency by the 
Whig party in a convention held the following September, but 
the Whigs did not, however, adopt the platform of the "Know- 
Nothings," and even referred to "the peculiar doctrines of the 
party which has already selected Mr. Fillmore as a candidate." 
At the November election in 1856 Mr. Fillmore received only 
874,534 votes, carrying but one State, Maryland; and it is 
impossible to say how many of these votes were due to the fact 
that he was a candidate of the "Know-Nothing" party. 



The " Know-No thing " strength in Congress was said to have 
been greatest in the Thirty-fourth Congress, 1854 to 1856. They 
had no openly avowed representatives in the Thirty-third Con- 
gress, while in the Thirty-fourth they claimed 43 Representatives 
and 5 Senators, aside from 70 Republicans who were said to be 
members of "Know-Nothing" councils. In the Thirty-fifth 
Congress the "Know-Nothings" claimed 5 Senators and 14 
Representatives, and about the same number were in the Thirty- 
sixth and Thirty-seventh; but in the Thirty-eighth Congress 
the party was not represented in either branch. 

Being in a minority in Congress, the "Know-Nothings" had 
but little influence on national legislation, although they made 
several attempts in this regard. In naturalization bills introduced 
they proposed to lengthen the period of residence, usually demand- 
ing that it be made twenty-one years, but their proposed laws 
affecting immigration were, as a rule, only directed against the 
immigration of foreign paupers and criminals. 


It has been said that the "Know-Nothings" disappeared with- 
out having accomplished anything against immigration, adopted 
citizens, or Catholics, but that, as a matter of fact, some national 
legislation favorable to foreigners was passed during this period 
of agitation. In 1847, an d again in 1848, the passenger law of 
1819 was amended in order to improve conditions in the steerage 
of immigrant ships. The avowed purpose of these laws and 
amendments was to protect immigrants from dangers incident 
to the travel of that day, and the "Native Americans" and 
" Know-No things " were opposed to these laws. 

The act organizing the Territories of Nebraska and Kansas, 
passed in 1854, was also favorable to foreigners, it being provided 
that the right of suffrage in such Territories should be exercised 
by those declaring their intentions to become citizens and taking 
an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the 
provisions of the act. During the discussion of the homestead 
act in 1854, which act, however, was not finally passed until 1862, 


there was considerable reference to immigrants and to whether 
they should be allowed to enjoy the advantages of the act. The 
" Know-No things" proposed to strike out the section of the bill 
permitting the granting of land to foreigners who had filed their 
intentions of becoming citizens, but the attempt failed. 


Although the National Government did not assume control of 
immigration until 1882, Congress in 1864 passed a law to en- 
courage immigration. This law, which was repealed in 1868, 
represents the only attempt of the Government to promote 
immigration by direct legislation, although the States have 
frequently made such attempts. In his annual message to the 
first session of the Thirty-seventh Congress President Lincoln 
favored a scheme of the Territories for encouraging immigra- 
tion, and in a subsequent message, December 8, 1863, he 
strongly recommended national legislation of the same nature. 


In the House of Representatives this part of President Lincoln's 
message was referred to a select committee of five members, and 
the following April this committee brought in a bill to jncourage 
immigration. In recommending the passage of the bill the com- 
mittee said that the vast number of laboring men, estimated at 
one million and a quarter, who had left their peaceful pursuits 
and gone forth in defense of the Government had created a 
vacuum which was becoming seriously felt in every part of the 
United States, and that never before in the history of the country 
had there existed such a demand for labor. The conclusion was 
that the demand for labor could be supplied only by immigration. 
The bill, which became a law July 4, 1864, provided for the 
appointment by the President of a Commissioner of Immigration, 
to be under the direction of the Department of State, and that 
all contracts that should be made in foreign countries by emi- 
grants to the United States whereby emigrants pledged the wages 
of their labor for a term not exceeding twelve months to repay 
the expenses of emigration, should be held to be valid in law 
and might be enforced in the courts of the United States or by 


the several States and Territories, and that no such contract 
could in any way be considered as creating a condition of slavery 
or servitude. An immigration office was to be established in New 
York City, in charge of a superintendent of immigration, who was 
charged with arranging for the transportation of immigrants to 
their final destination and protecting them from imposition and 

Following the enactment of the law of 1864 several companies 
were established to deal in immigrant contract labor, but they 
were not satisfied with the law and wanted its scope enlarged. 
In 1866 the House of Representatives passed a bill amending 
the act of 1864, the principal provision of the bill being to in- 
crease the number of commissioners of immigration, the additional 
commissioners to be stationed in several cities along the Atlantic 
coast. The Senate, however, did not agree to the amendment. 
The law itself was even declared impolitic, if not unconstitutional, 
and at one time was in danger of repeal. The operations of the 
immigration office in New York were attacked, the charge being 
made that the commissioner of immigration there had done little 
but to cooperate with the American Emigrant Company to 
render its work efficient and enable it, through the power of 
the Central Government, to enforce the contracts which it made 
in foreign countries for the importation of immigrant labor. 

About this time one of the first official protests against using 
the United States as a dumping ground for criminals by for- 
eign governments was entered by Congress, the following joint 
resolution being passed and approved by the President on 
April 17, 1866 : 

Whereas it appears from official correspondence that the authorities 
of Baseland, a Canton of Switzerland, have recently undertaken to 
pardon a person convicted of murder on the condition that he would 
emigrate to the United States, and there is reason to believe that similar 
pardons of persons convicted of infamous offenses have been granted 
in other countries : Now, therefore, 

Resolved by the Senate, etc., That the Congress of the United States 
protests against such acts as unfriendly and inconsistent with the 
comity of nations, and hereby requests the President of the United 
States to cause a copy of this protest to be communicated to the repre- 
sentatives of the United States in foreign countries, with instructions 


to present to the governments where they are accredited, respectively, 
and to insist that no such acts shall, under any circumstances, be 

In the Fortieth Congress two bills were introduced providing for 
agencies for the promotion of immigration, to be located in Great 
Britain, Germany, Sweden, and Norway. For these two bills the 
House substituted one which provided that the work to be done 
by these special agents be done instead by United States consuls. 
No favorable action was taken, however, and the brief period of 
national encouragement of immigration was over when, on March 
4, 1868, the law of 1864 was repealed by a clause in the consular 
and diplomatic act. 


In the Forty-first Congress the campaign against contracting 
for foreign labor first began, a bill being introduced which was the 
exact opposite of the law of 1864. This bill, which was not acted 
upon, provided that any contract made in foreign countries 
whereby immigrants pledged service or labor to be performed 
upon arrival in the United States should not be enforced in any 
federal or state court. 

Proceedings in Congress the next few years, while showing the 
general sentiment against the importation of contract labor, 
although in favor of the immigration of worthy foreigners, are 
interesting chiefly as showing the circumstances which led to the 
change of control of immigration from the various States to the 
National Government. 

On May 31, 1870, an act to enforce the rights of citizens to vote 
in the several States and for other purposes was approved. This 
act provided that no tax should be imposed or enforced by any 
State upon any person immigrating thereto from a foreign country 
which was not imposed upon every person immigrating to such 
State from any other foreign country. This is interesting here 
simply as showing that at this time Congress regarded the levying 
of a head tax on foreign immigrants as a legitimate field for state 

In his annual message to Congress, December 4, 1871, President 
Grant suggested congressional action for the protection of 


immigrants, saying that it seemed to him a fair subject of 
legislation by Congress. Later, in the same session, he sent a 
special message to Congress upon the subject of immigration in 
which he urged national control, saying in part : 

I do not advise national legislation in affairs that should be regulated 
by the States ; but I see no subject more national in its character than 
provision for the safety and welfare of the thousands who leave 
foreign lands to become citizens of this Republic. When their resi- 
dence is chosen they may then look to the laws of their locality for 
protection and guidance. 


At about this period several bills were introduced for the 
promotion of immigration and the protection of immigrants, and 
the Senate Committee on Commerce reported a bill which pro- 
vided for the appointment of a Commissioner of Immigration; 
the levying of a head tax of $i on each immigrant passenger 
landed in lieu of a head tax imposed by States ; and the exclusion 
of criminals. The bill in question did not pass, but in 1875 a 
law was enacted which provided for the exclusion of prostitutes. 
The law in which this provision was contained, however, was 
designed chiefly to regulate Chinese immigration. The messages 
of President Grant and the debates in Congress evidently indi- 
cated a strong sentiment in favor of national control of immigra- 
tion, and in 1876 a decision of the Supreme Court practically left 
no alternative. 


Before the decision of 1876 above referred to various questions 
relating to the subject of immigration had been considered by the 
Supreme Court of the United States. The first of these cases was 
that of the State of New York v. Miln. This case tested the 
constitutionality of a law passed by the legislature of New York 
State in 1824, requiring all masters of vessels arriving at the 
port of New York to make a report in writing and give the name, 
age, and the last legal residence of every person on board during 
the voyage, and stating whether any of his passengers had gone 
on board any other vessel or had been landed at any place with a 
view to proceeding to New York. Another section of the law 


made it lawful for the mayor of the city to require a bond from 
every master of a vessel to indemnify the mayor and the overseer 
of the poor from any expense incurred for passengers brought 
in and not reported. The United States Supreme Court held 
that the New York act was not a regulation of commerce, but of 
police ; and, being so, it was in exercise of a power which right- 
fully belonged to the State. 

Justice Story dissented from the decision of the court, declared 
the law unconstitutional, and said, in part : 

The result of the whole reasoning is that whatever restrains or pre- 
vents the introduction or importation of passengers or goods into the 
country authorized or allowed by Congress, whether in the shape of 
a tax or other charge, or whether before or after their arrival in port, 
interferes with the exclusive right to regulate commerce. 

This law being held to be constitutional, New York, in 1829, in 
providing for the support of the marine and quarantine hospital 
established on Staten Island, ordered that the health com- 
missioner should collect from the master of every vessel arriving 
from a foreign port $1.50 for every cabin passenger ; $i for every 
steerage passenger, mate, sailor, or marine; and 25 cents for 
every person arriving on coasting vessels. .The money so col- 
lected, after deducting 2 per cent, was all to be used for the benefit 
of the above-named hospital. 

In 1837 Massachusetts enacted a law which provided for an 
inspection of arriving alien passengers and required a bond from 
the owner of the vessel bringing such aliens as security that such 
of these passengers, incompetent in the eyes of the inspectors to 
earn a living, should not become a public charge within ten 
years. It also provided that $2 be paid for each passenger 
landed, the money so collected to be used for the support of for- 
eign paupers. 

In 1849 these two legislative acts were declared unconstitutional 
by the Supreme Court, in what are known as the "Passenger 

Immediately after the decision of the Supreme Court the New 
York statute was modified with a view to avoiding the constitu- 
tional objection. As modified the law provided that the master 
or owner of every vessel landing passengers from a foreign port 


was bound to make a report similar to the one recited in the 
statute declared to be valid in the case of New York v. Miln, 
in which report the mayor was to indorse a demand upon the 
owner or master that he give a bond for every passenger landed 
in the city to indemnify the commissioners of immigration, and 
every county, city, and town in the State against any expense 
for the relief or support of the person named in the bond for 
four years thereafter; but the owner could commute for such 
bond and be released from giving it by paying $1.50 for each 
passenger landed. 

In several other States similar laws were in force. Cases were 
brought up to the Supreme Court from New York, California, 
and Louisiana, and the laws were declared unconstitutional. 
Mr. Justice Miller, who delivered the opinion, said in part : 

It is a law in its purpose and effect imposing a tax on the owner of 
the vessel for the privilege of landing in New York from foreign coun- 
tries. ... A law or rule emanating from any lawful authority which 
prescribes terms or conditions on which alone the vessel can discharge 
its passengers is a regulation of commerce ; and in the case of vessels 
and passengers coming from foreign ports is a regulation of foreign 

The most interesting part of this decision, however, was that 
in which the court recommended that Congress exercise full 
authority over immigration, saying : 

We are of the opinion that this whole subject has been confided to 
Congress by the Constitution ; that Congress can more appropriately 
and with more acceptance exercise it than any other body known to 
our law, state or national ; that by providing a system of laws in these 
matters applicable to all ports and to all vessels, a serious question 
which has long been a matter of contest and complaint may be effec- 
tively and satisfactorily settled. 


By the above decision the States were left without the means, 
except by taxing their own citizens, of providing suitable in- 
spection of immigrants or of caring for the destitute among those 
admitted. The only alternative was the recommendation of the 
Supreme Court that Congress assume control of immigration 


legislation, and New York representatives in Congress imme- 
diately endeavored to secure the passage of a general immigra- 
tion law. The above-quoted case was decided by the Supreme 
Court March 20, 1876, and on July 6 following Senator Conkling 
and Representative Cox, of New York, introduced bills for the 
national regulation of immigration. 

These bills provided for a manifest of all alien passengers ; a 
head tax of $2 ; the exclusion and deportation of convicts, insane 
persons, and paupers, and the reimbursement to the States of 
all money paid out by them for the support and maintenance of 
any immigrants within four years after their arrival. These bills 
were not given favorable consideration, the principal opposition 
coming from the commercial organizations of the country. New 
York Senators and Representatives, however, continued to intro- 
duce bills of like nature, but a national immigration law was not 
enacted until 1882. 


In his message of December 6, 1881, President Arthur called 
attention to the subject of immigration control and recommended 
legislation regarding the supervision and transitory care of the 
immigrants at ports of debarkation. 

In that session of Congress immigration legislation was given 
consideration, and on August 3, 1882, the first general immigra- 
tion law was approved. This law provided that a head tax of 50 
cents should be levied on all aliens landed at United States 
ports, the money thus collected to be used to defray the expenses 
of regulating immigration and for the care of immigrants after 
landing, no more being expended at any port than was collected 
at such port. The Secretary of the Treasury was charged with 
executing the provisions of the act, and for that purpose he was 
given power to enter into contracts with such state officers as 
might be designated by the governor of any State to take charge 
of the local affairs of immigration within such State. The 
law provided that foreign convicts (except those convicted of 
political offenses), lunatics, idiots, and persons likely to become 
public charges, should not be permitted to land. 



On February 26, 1885, the first law forbidding the importation 
of contract labor was approved. This law was defective, in that 
no inspection was provided for, nor was any arrangement made 
for the general execution of the provisions of the law or for the 
deportation of the contract laborer himself. This law was 
amended by the act of February 23, 1887, and by this amend- 
ment the Secretary of the Treasury was given the same power to 
exclude and deport contract laborers that he had been given 
under the act of 1882 over criminals, paupers, idiots, and lunatics. 
The act of 1885 was again amended on October 9, 1888, by which 
amendment the Secretary of the Treasury was given power to 
return within the year any immigrant landed contrary to this 

From 1882 to 1888, aside from the enactment of the contract- 
labor laws referred to, there was little attempt at other immigra- 
tion legislation. Numerous bills in amendment of the laws of 1882 
were introduced in Congress, but no action was taken upon them. 


During this period, however, there was considerable agitation 
for the further restriction or regulation of immigration, and in 
1888 the House of Representatives passed a resolution, in which 
note was taken of the charges of prominent journals that the 
laws prohibiting the importation of contract laborers, convicts, 
and paupers were being extensively evaded, owing to the lack of 
machinery to enforce them, and this resolution authorized the 
appointment of a select committee to investigate the matter. 
This select committee, which was known as the "Ford com- 
mittee," reported at the following session of Congress. The report 
alleged that each year there were thousands of alien paupers, 
insane persons, and idiots landed in this country who became a 
burden upon the States where they happened to gain a settle- 
ment; that many of these were assisted to emigrate oy the 
officials of the country from which they came ; that the number of 
persons not lawfully entitled to land in the United States who 
came in by the way of the Canadian frontier was large, and was 


becoming a serious danger, the testimony showing that in many 
instances immigrants coming by steamer to Quebec had within 
forty-eight hours after their arrival there been applicants for 
shelter in the almshouses of the State of New York. This was 
probably the first time that serious attention was called to the 
matter of overland immigration. The committee also declared 
that the law of 1882, as regards the excluding of convicts, had 
been and was being repeatedly violated to such an extent that it 
demanded remedial legislation, and that the contract-labor law 
was easy to violate and convictions under it hard to secure. To 
remedy these defects the committee recommended that the 
enforcement of all acts relating to the regulation of immigration 
be intrusted solely to the Federal Government rather than to 
state authorities, as was provided under the law of 1882. The 
committee praised the immigrant of the past, but said that it 
could not praise the immigrant then coming. The idea of selection 
was emphasized, and it was asserted that "the time had come to 
draw the line and to select the good from the bad, because the 
country could not properly assimilate them." 

Besides excluding idiots, paupers, lunatics, and convicts, the 
bill proposed by the Ford committee added to the excluded classes 
polygamists, anarchists, and persons afflicted with a loathsome 
or dangerous contagious disease. The provisions of the contract- 
labor law were also incorporated in the bill, and it was provided 
that any person found in the United States having come contrary 
to law should be deported within two years at the expense of the 
transportation company bringing him. All aliens were also 
required to bring a consular certificate of emigration, showing 
that they were not among the classes excluded by the United 
States law. Congress, however, did not act upon the recommen- 
dations of the Ford committee. 


The subject of immigration continued to be a matter of interest, 
and in 1889 a standing Committee on Immigration in the Senate 
and a Select Committee on Immigration and Naturalization in 
the House were established. In 1890 these committees were 
authorized jointly to make an inquiry relative to immigration and 


to investigate the workings of the various laws of the United 
States and of the several States relative to immigration. 

Various reports were submitted, and the conclusion of the com- 
mittee was that a radical change in the immigration laws was not 
advisable, although it had been found that throughout the 
country there existed a demand for a stricter enforcement of the 
immigration laws. During 1890 one or more political parties in 
23 States had demanded additional regulations of immigration. 

The investigation of the joint committee showed that large 
numbers of immigrants were being landed every year in 
violation of the law of 1882, the chief cause of which was the 
divided authority provided for the execution of the immigration 
act. The contract-labor law was found to be generally evaded. 
The bill presented by the committee aimed to correct faults in 
existing law. As it was presented it received rather general 
favor, the only opposition to it being on the part of ultra- 
restrictionists, who tried to have substituted a bill which raised 
the head tax from 50 cents to $>i and provided for a thorough 
consular examination. The substitute bill was defeated by a 
vote of 207 to 41. The bill of the committee passed the House 
by a vote of 125 to 48, and after being adopted by the Senate 
without discussion it was approved on March 3, 1891. 


This law provided for a head tax of 50 cents, as was also pro- 
vided in the law of 1882, the head tax being considered merely as 
a means of raising money for the proper administration of the 
law. Persons suffering from a loathsome or a dangerous conta- 
gious disease, and polygamists, were added to the classes excluded 
by the act of 1882, and it was also provided that "assisted persons, 
unless affirmatively shown that they did not belong to any 
excluded class," should be debarred. The contract-labor law 
was strengthened by prohibiting the encouragement of immigra- 
tion by promises of employment through advertisements pub- 
lished in any foreign country, and transportation companies 
were forbidden to solicit or encourage immigration. Under the 
law of 1891 the office of the superintendent of immigration was 
authorized, and for the first time federal control of immigration 


was completely and definitely established, United States officials , 
exercising the functions which under the law of 1882 had been 
delegated to the States. It now became the duty of the command- 
ing officer of every vessel bringing alien immigrants to report 
to the proper inspection officials the name, nationality, last 
residence, and destination of all such aliens ; all decisions of the 
inspection officials refusing any alien the right to land were final 
unless appeal was taken to the Secretary of the Treasury ; the 
medical examination of immigrants at United States ports was 
to be made by surgeons of the United States Marine-Hospital 
Service and for the first time an inspection of immigrants on the 
borders of Canada and Mexico was provided for. Another 
provision not found in the law of 1882 was that which allowed 
the return within a year after arrival of any alien who had come 
into the United States in violation of law, such return being at 
the expense of the transportation company or person bringing 
such alien into the country. 


Notwithstanding the new law, however, the question of 
immigration continued to receive attention in Congress. This 
law was approved on March 3, 1891, and on January 29, 1892, a 
joint committee was charged with investigating the workings of 
the various laws of the United States relative to immigration 
and the importation of contract laborers. This committee made a 
report on July 28 of the same year. The committee found that 
many undesirable immigrants were being permitted to land who 
under a proper and reasonable construction of the law should 
have been refused admission, and that the law permitting the 
commissioner of immigration at any port to be the sole arbiter as 
to whether an immigrant should land or not, with an appeal in 
favor of the immigrant in case he is not permitted to land, and 
no appeal in case he is unlawfully permitted to do so, should be 
changed. In recommending a more careful inspection of immi- 
grants the committee said that what theretofore had been called 
examinations appeared to be more of a farce than a reality. To 
remedy this it was proposed that whenever an inspector was in 
doubt regarding the right of an immigrant to land he might detain 


him for a special inquiry conducted by four inspectors, the favor- 
able decision of three of them being necessary to admit. Finally 
the committee decided that an examination should be made at 
foreign ports of embarkation by the captain and surgeon of the 
ship bringing him, thus making the steamship and transportation 
lines responsible for the character of the persons they bring. 
Bills embodying the recommendations' of the committee were 
introduced and passed by the Senate without debate, but the 
House took no action at that session. 

On July 1 6, 1892, the Senate passed a resolution providing that 
the Committee on Immigration be empowered to investigate 
the workings of the immigration laws and the importation of 
contract labor, as well as the laws of the prevailing methods of 

The result of this investigation was reported to the next session 
of Congress. Accompanying the report were two bills, one 
establishing additional regulations concerning immigration and 
the other entirely prohibiting immigration for one year. The 
reason for the latter bill was the epidemic of cholera then pre- 
vailing in Europe. The bill declaring for the total suspension of 
immigration for one year, simply to " defeat the arrival of cholera 
within our borders," was deemed too severe, and instead the 
following provision, which is still in force, was inserted in the 
general quarantine act: 

That whenever it shall be shown to the satisfaction of the President 
that by reason of the existence of cholera or other infectious or con- 
tagious disease in a foreign country there is a serious danger of the 
introduction of the same into the United States and that notwith- 
standing the quarantine defense this danger is so increased by the in- 
troduction of persons or property from such country that a suspension 
of the right to introduce the same is demanded in the interest of the 
public health, the President shall have the power to prohibit, in whole 
or in part, the introduction of persons and property from such coun- 
tries or places as he shall designate and for such period of time as he 
may deem necessary. 

The other bill presented by the Senate committee is inter- 
esting in that for the first time restriction of immigration by 
means of an educational test was recommended by a congres- 
sional committee. 


When the committee's report was presented it was argued in 
Congress that the law of 1891 had been in force only a brief 
period and its operation as yet had been only of an experimental 
character, and that instead of passing a new law it would be 
better to bring about a proper enforcement of the spirit of the 
existing law. The objection to the educational test was that the 
demand of the country was not for skilled and educated labor, 
but "for a class of brawn and muscle to assist in agriculture and 
in the line of their work to aid in the development of the almost 
boundless resources of the great West and South." It was 
further argued that the country was not demanding the exclusion 
of any immigrants but criminals and paupers. While there were 
some who favored even a more radical restriction than was 
proposed in the committee bill, the idea of promoting a better 
enforcement of the existing laws prevailed, and while the_ com- 
mit tee's recommendations resulted in a revised immigration law, 
which was approved March 3, 1893, it was by no means radical. 
One important provision of the law of 1893 was that boards of 
special inquiry should pass upon the admissibility of immigrants, 
a practice which has since prevailed. 

With the exception of an amendment to an appropriation act 
in 1894 raising the head tax on immigrants from 50 cents to $i, 
no immigration legislation was enacted until 1903. The agitation 
of the subject in Congress continued, however, and the period is 
interesting chiefly because of the adoption by both houses of 
Congress of a bill providing for an educational test for immigrants 
and the veto of the bill by President Cleveland. 


As the bill went to the President it provided that persons 
physically capable and over 16 years of age who could not read 
and write the English language or some other language, parents, 
grandparents, wives, and minor children of admissible immigrants 
being excepted, were added to the excluded classes. 

President Cleveland returned the bill with his veto on March 2, 
1897. He objected to the radical departure from the previous 
national policy relating to immigration, which welcomed all 
who came, the success of which policy was attested by the last 


century's great growth. In referring to the claim that the quality 
of recent immigration was undesirable, he said, "The time is 
quite within recent memory when the same thing was said of 
immigrants who, with their descendants, are now numbered 
among our best citizens." The prevailing disturbed labor condi- 
tions he attributed to a general business depression, which would 
in no way be affected by restricting immigration. In referring to 
"the best reason that could be given for this radical restriction 
of immigration," the "protecting of our population against de- 
generation and saving our national peace and quiet from im- 
ported turbulence and disorder," President Cleveland said that 
he did not think it would be protected against these evils by 
limiting immigration to those who could read and write, for, in 
his mind, it was safer "to admit a hundred thousand immi- 
grants who, though unable to read and write, seek among 
us only a home and opportunity to work, than to admit 
one of those unruly agitators who can not only read and 
write, but delights in arousing by inflammatory speech the 
illiterate and peacefully inclined to discontent." Those classes 
which we ought to exclude, he claimed, should be legislated 
against directly. 

, ' Sections of the bill declaring it a crime for an alien regularly to 
come into the United States for the purpose of obtaining work 
from private parties, President Cleveland declared, were "illib- 
eral, narrow, and un-American," and, besides, he said, the resi- 
dents of these border States and Territories "have separate and 
especial interests which in many cases make an interchange of 
labor between their people and their alien neighbors most 
important, frequently with the advantage largely in favor of our 

On March 3, 1897, tne House passed the bill over the Presi- 
dent's veto by a vote of 193 to 37, but no action was taken in the 
Senate, and considering the close vote by which the conference 
report was adopted by the Senate it is very doubtful whether it 
could have been passed over the veto. 

In the Fifty-fifth Congress the bill which President Cleveland 
vetoed was again introduced and passed the Senate by a vote of 
45 to 28, but the House of Representatives refused to consider it 
by a vote of 103 to 101. 



By an act of June 18, 1898, the Industrial Commission was 
created. Section 2 of this act provided : 

That it shall be the duty of this comnu'ssion to investigate ques- 
tions pertaining to immigration, and to report to Congress and to 
suggest such legislation as it may deem best upon these subjects. 

The final report of this commission containing recommen- 
dations relative to immigration legislation was submitted to 
Congress on February 20, 1902, and shortly afterwards a bill was 
introduced in the House which was substantially in accord with 
the recommendations made. The principal object of the bill was 
to codify in concise form all immigration legislation before 
enacted, from the act of March 3, 1875, to the act of 1894, and 
to arrange the legislation in regular order and sequence according 
to the various specific subjects dealt with in the bill. 

When the Industrial Commission bill was before the House, an * 
amendment was added providing for the exclusion of all persons 
over fifteen who were unable to read the English language or 
some other language, excepting the wife, children under 18 years 
of age, and parents and grandparents of admissible immigrants. 
This amendment was adopted in the House by a vote of 86 to 7. 
With the addition of the literacy test provision the bill passed 
the House May 27, 1902, practically as introduced, but the Senate 
did not act upon it until the following session. Besides eliminating 
the educational test and raising the head tax from $i to $2, 
the Senate added provisions making it unlawful for any person 
to assist in the unlawful entry or naturalization of alien 
anarchists. These amendments were accepted by the House. 
Before the final passage of the bill a provision was added pro- 
viding that no alien, even if belonging in the excluded classes, 
should be deported if liable to execution for a religious offense 
in the country from which he came, but this provision was 
eliminated in conference. The bill was approved by the Presi- 
dent March 3, 1903. 

From the act of March 3, 1903, until the act of February 20, 
1907, no laws of general importance affecting immigration were 
enacted by Congress. On February 14, 1903, the Department 


of Commerce and Labor was established and the Commissioner- 
General of Immigration was placed under the jurisdiction and 
supervision of that department. By the law of June 29, 1906, 
providing for a uniform rule for the naturalization of aliens, the 
designation of the Bureau of Immigration was changed to the 
Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, and it was charged 
with the administration of the new naturalization law. 

The agitation of the immigration question was continued, how- 
ever, and at each session of Congress several bills proposing 
restrictions or a stricter supervision of immigration were intro- 
duced. In the Fifty-eighth Congress a bill was introduced which 
proposed to limit the number of aliens from any one nation 
allowed to enter the United States in any one fiscal year to 80,000, 
but no action was taken upon it. 


In the first session of the Fifty-ninth Congress, following the 
popular demand for the further regulation of alien immigration, 
several bills were introduced and bills were passed by both the 
Senate and House, but were not finally enacted into law until the 
second session of that Congress.^ A bill introduced by Senator 
Dillingham, of Vermont, which provided for some important 
administrative changes in the immigration act of 1903, was 
reported from the Senate committee March 29, 1906. This bill, 
as reported, proposed several changes in the law. The head tax 
on immigrants was increased from $2 to $5 ; imbeciles, feeble- 
minded persons, iirm.rmmpfl.nieH hiTHren_jmjer iy years of age , 
is "who are found to be and are certified by the examin- 
ing surgeon as being mentally or physically defective, such mental 
or physical defect being of a nature which may affect the ability 
of such aliens to earn a living," were added to the excluded 
classes ; the provision of existing law excluding prostitutes was 
amended to also exclude "women or girls coming into the United 
States for the purpose of prostitution or for any other immoral 
purpose"; steamship companies were required to furnish lists 
of outgoing passengers; and the creation of a division of dis- 
tribution in the Bureau of Immigration was authorized. 


In the Senate the bill was amended by the insertion of a literacy 
test which provided for the exclusion from the United States of 

all persons over sixteen years of age and physically capable of reading 
who cannot read the English language or some other language ; but 
an admissible immigrant or a person now in or hereafter admitted to 
this country may bring in or send for his wife, his children under 
eighteen years of age, and his parents or grandparents over fifty years 
of age, if they are otherwise admissible, whether they are so able to 
read or not. 

The bill as amended passed the Senate May 23, 1906, and in 
the House was referred to the Committee on Immigration and 
Naturalization. This committee recommended the substitution 
of a House bill which, however, did not differ materially from 
that of the Senate. The head tax provision was the same and 
the additions to the excluded classes practically so ; a literacy 
test similar to that of the Senate was also included. The bill as 
originally reported by the House committee also provided for 
the exclusion of every adult male who had not $25 in his possession 
and every female alien and every male alien under 16 years 
not possessed of $15, provided that $50 in the possession of 
the head of a family would be considered a sufficient amount for 
all members of such family, except grown sons. 

In a subsequent bill and report, presented June n, 1906, how- 
ever, the money qualification feature was omitted. The reports 
of the House committee were accompanied by a minority report, 
signed by two members of the committee, Mr. Bennet and Mr. 
Ruppert, both of New York, in which the increased head tax 
and the educational test provisions were disagreed to. In the 
House of Representatives the bill was amended by striking out 
the increased head-tax provision and the provision for a literacy 
test, by inserting a section creating the Immigration Commission, 
and by adopting the so-called Littauer amendment, which "" 
provided as follows : 

That an immigrant who proves that he is seeking admission to this 
country solely to avoid prosecution or punishment on religious or 
political grounds, for an offense of a political character, or prosecution 
involving danger of punishment, or danger to life or limb on account 
of religious belief, shall not be deported because of want of means 
or the probability of his being unable to earn a livelihood. 


In conference between the two Houses the Senate receded from 
its provision relative to a literacy test ; the House receded from 
the Littauer amendment; the head-tax provision was com- 
promised by fixing the amount at $4, instead of $5 as provided 
by the Senate and $2 as provided by the House; the House 
amendment creating the Immigration Commission was agreed 
to with an amendment, which provided that the Commission 
should consist of three Senators, three Members of the House of 
Representatives, and three persons to be appointed by the 
President of the United States, instead of two Senators, three 
Members of the House, and two citizen members, as was pro- 
vided in the House amendment. The section creating the Com- 
mission was further amended in conference by the addition of the 
following provision: 

. . . the President of the United States is also authorized, in the 
name of the Government of the United States, to call, in his discre- 
tion, an international conference, to assemble at such point as may be 
agreed upon, or to send special commissioners to any foreign country 
for the purpose of regulating by international agreement, subject 
to the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States, the im- 
migration of aliens to the United States ; of providing for the mental, 
moral, and physical examination of such aliens by American consuls 
or other officers of the United States Government at the ports of em- 
barkation, or elsewhere ; of securing the assistance of foreign govern- 
ments in their own territories to prevent the evasion of the laws of 
the United States governing immigration to the United States ; of 
entering into such international agreements as may be proper to 
prevent the immigration of aliens who, under the laws of the United 
States, are or may be excluded from entering the United States, and 
of regulating any matters pertaining to such immigration. 

The conferees also added a new section (sec. 42) to the bill 
amending section i of the passenger act of 1882 relative to air 
space allotted to steerage passengers, 'and amended section i of 
the immigration bill under consideration by inserting the follow- 
ing provision : 

That whenever the President shall be satisfied that passports is- 
sued by any foreign government to its citizens to go to any country 
other than the United States or to any insular possession of the United 
States or to the Canal Zone are being used for the purpose of enabling 


the holders to come to the continental territory of the United States 
to the detriment of labor conditions therein, the President may refuse 
to permit such citizens of the country issuing such passports to enter 
the continental territory of the United States from such other country 
or from such insular possessions or from the Canal Zone. 

Later this provision of law was utilized for the purpose of 
excluding Japanese and Korean laborers from the United States. 
This bill was approved February 20, 1907, and is the present law 
upon the subject. 



By the act of March 26, 1910, sections 2 and 3 of the immigra-~ 
tion law of February 20, 1907, were amended to more effectively 
prevent the importation of women and girls for immoral purposes 
and their control by importers and others after admission to the 
United States. These amendments followed recommendations 
of the Immigration Commission contained in a report of the 
Commission on the importation and harboring of women for 
immoral purposes. 

By the act of March 26 the following were added to the classes 
excluded by section 2 of the immigration act : " Persons who are 
supported by or receive in full or in part the proceeds of prosti- 
tution." Under the terms of the act of 1907 "women or girls 
coming into the United States for the purpose of prostitution 
or for any other immoral purpose," and also "persons who 
procure or attempt to bring in prostitutes or women or girls 
for the purpose of prostitution or for any other immoral pur- 
pose," were specifically excluded from the United States. Under 
that law, however, there was no specific provision for the ex- 
clusion of that particularly reprehensible class of persons referred 
to in the act of March 26, 1910. By the amendment of section 
3 of the law of 1907 additional means were provided for the 
punishment and deportation of aliens who in any way profited 
or derived benefit from the proceeds of prostitution. 

The agitation of the white-slave traffic in Congress also resulted 
in the enactment of a law prohibiting the transportation of 
persons from one State to another for purposes of prostitution. 



In the early fifties, when the Chinese first came to California 
in any considerable numbers, it is said that the people of San 
Francisco regarded "with admiration and pride" these "pic- 
turesque and far- traveling immigrants." The movement devel- 
oped rapidly and supplied cheap labor for the construction of 
railways. It appears* that there was little objection to their 
coming at that time, but later when they entered the mines and 
became successful competitors of white men and women in other 
lines of work, an opposition to their immigration arose which 
has since continued. This opposition was soon expressed in state 
laws for the suppression of such immigration. In 1853 a law 
taxing all foreign miners was enacted in California, but in prac- 
tice such tax was collected only from the Chinese. In 1855 
California imposed a tax of $55 upon every Chinese immigrant, 
and in 1858 a law was passed prohibiting all Chinese or Mongo- 
lians from entering the State, unless driven on shore by weather 
or some accident, in which case it was provided they should be 
immediately sent out of the country. In 1862 another act was 
passed providing for a head tax of $2.50 upon all arriving Mongo- 
lians 1 8 years of age or over, unless they were engaged in the 
production and manufacture of sugar, rice, coffee, or tea. These 
different state laws were declared unconstitutional by the supreme 
court of California. In the same manner the cities of the Pacific 
coast passed ordinances directly or indirectly affecting the Chinese. 
Notwithstanding adverse decisions of the state courts California 
persisted in attempts to repress Chinese immigration, but finally 
all such attempts were rendered futile by the decision of the United 
States Supreme Court that the regulation of immigration was 
a subject for national rather than state legislation. 

Even before this decision, however, California appealed to 
Congress for national legislation to stop Chinese immigration. 

The first consideration given to Chinese immigration in Con- 
gress resulted in the law of 1862 prohibiting the coolie trade, 
which has been referred to as the first attempt of Congress to 
regulate immigration. All debates in Congress and reports on 
the subject, however, show that the question of the importation 
of Chinese coolies into the United States was not considered, 


the only purpose of the act being to prevent American vessels 
from carrying on this coolie or slave trade, especially between 
China and the West Indies, although to some extent it was also 
carried on with South American ports. 


Although political relations of the United States with China 
date back to the year 1844, the first treaty in which emigration 
from one country to the other was considered, was the Burlingame 
treaty, proclaimed July 28, 1868. Sections 5 and 6 of that treaty 
state the position of the United States respecting the rights of 
Chinese in this country. The inherent and inalienable right of 
man to change his home and allegiance, and also the mutual 
advantage of the free migration and emigration of their citizens 
and subjects, respectively, from the one country to the other, for 
the purpose of curiosity, or trade, or as permanent residents, were 
recognized, but "any other than an entirely voluntary emigra- 
tion" was reprobated. By the Burlingame treaty the United 
States declared that - 

Chinese subjects visiting or residing in the United States shall enjoy 
the same privileges, immunities, and exemptions in respect to travel 
or residence as may there be enjoyed by the citizens or subjects of 
the most favored nations. 

The right of naturalization was, however, denied them. 

The attitude of the United States as expressed in this treaty was 
not popular in the Pacific States, and these States continued their 
efforts to secure legislation restricting the further immigration of 
the Chinese. 

In 1872 the legislature of California had instructed their 
Representatives in Congress to urge the making of a new treaty 
with China providing for the exclusion of certain Chinese 
subjects, and the continued agitation finally resulted in the 
enactment of the law of March 3, 1875. Besides prohibiting the 
importation of women, especially Chinese women, for the purpose 
of prostitution, and the immigration of convicts, the principal 
provision of the act of 1875 was that the transporting into the 
United States of any subject of China, Japan, or any oriental 



country, without their free and voluntary consent, for the pur- 
pose of holding them to a term of service, was to be punished by 
imprisonment for not more than one year and by a fine not 
exceeding $2000. It further provided that any person attempting 
to contract in this manner to supply coolie labor to another should 
be guilty of a felony, and should be imprisoned for not more than 
one year and pay a fine of not more than $5000. 


On February 27, 1877, the report of the joint special committee 
sent to California to study the question was submitted to Con- 
gress. The committee as appointed consisted of Messrs. Morton, 
of Indiana, Meade, of New York, Wilson, of Massachusetts, 
Cooper, of New York, and Sargent and Piper, of California. Be- 
cause of sickness and resignations the final report was made 
by Mr. Cooper, Mr. Sargent, and Mr. Piper. This report was a 
violent denunciation of the Chinese as a class on the part of the 
Pacific coast, and finally led to the passage of the Chinese- 
exclusion law. Congress took no immediate action on this 
report, but from that time on protests and bills looking to the 
exclusion of Chinese were constantly being introduced and con- 
sidered in Congress. 

In 1879 a bill was introduced in Congress limiting to 15 the 
number of Chinese who could come into the United States upon 
any one vessel. It was argued against this bill that it would 
abrogate the provisions of the Burlingame treaty. After being 
amended by adding a provision for the abrogation of articles 5 
and 6 of that treaty, which gave to the Chinaman all privileges 
enjoyed by " citizens or subjects of the most favored nations," 
the bill passed the House January 28, 1879, by a vote of 155 to 
72, and on February 15 it passed the Senate by a small majority. 
On March i, 1879, President Hayes returned it with his veto, 
declaring that history gave no other instance where a treaty had 
been abrogated by Congress and that it was not competent to 
modify a treaty by cutting out certain sections, and even if it 
were constitutional, seeing that China would probably assent 
willingly to such a modification, he thought it better policy to 
wait for the proper course of diplomatic negotiations. 



Congress failed to pass the bill over the veto, and negotiations 
were almost immediately entered into for a change in the treaty. 
On November 17, 1880, a treaty somewhat as desired by the 
Pacific coast was concluded, the article relating to the limitation 
and suspension of Chinese immigration into the United States 
being as follows : 

Whenever in the opinion of the Government of the United States 
the coming of Chinese laborers to the United States, or their residence 
therein, affects or threatens to affect the interests of that country, 
or to endanger the good order of the said country, or of any locality 
within the territory thereof, the Government of China agrees that the 
Government of the United States may regulate, limit, or suspend 
such coming or residence, but may not absolutely prohibit it. The 
limitation or suspension shall be reasonable, and shall apply only to 
Chinese who may go to the United States as laborers, other classes 
not being included in the limitations. Legislation taken in regard to 
Chinese laborers will be of such a character only as is necessary to 
enforce the regulation, limitation, or suspension of immigration, and 
immigrants shall not be subject to personal maltreatment or abuse. 


After the entry of 1880 was concluded a bill to execute certain 
stipulations contained therein was passed by the Senate and 
House. As this bill went to the President for approval it provided 
that within ninety days after its passage, and until twenty years 
thereafter, the coming of Chinese laborers should be suspended. 
Exception was made to Chinese laborers who were in the United 
States on November 17, 1880, and those who should come before 
the act went into effect. Also a complete system of registration, 
certification and identification was provided. Skilled Chinese 
laborers were specifically among those excluded, and all state or 
United States courts were denied the right to admit Chinese to 
citizenship. On April 4, 1882, President Arthur returned the bill 
with his veto, his principal reason for refusing to sign it being that 
the passage of an act prohibiting immigration for twenty years 
was an unreasonable suspension of immigration and consequently 
a breach of the treaty. The features relating to registration he 


also claimed served no good purpose. Subsequently a modified 
bill was passed by Congress, and. although containing some of the 
provisions objectionable to the President, he approved it on 
May 6, 1882. This law provided that all immigration of Chinese 
laborers, skilled or unskilled, should be suspended for a period of 
ten years. 


In the next Congress there were several bills introduced amend- 
ing this act of 1882. One of these, that of Mr. Henley, of Cali- 
fornia, was reported favorably by the Committee on Foreign 

The law had been intended, by its originators, to exclude 
Chinese laborers, but it had failed to do this and required revision 
to conform to the intent of its framers. To substantiate this 
view, the committee cited the case decided by Justices Lowell 
and Nelson, of the United States circuit court in Massachusetts, 
where a Chinese laborer, born on the island of Hongkong after its 
cession to Great Britain, was held not to be within the provisions 
of the act. To avoid a similar situation the act was extended to 
all Chinese, subjects of whatever country. To prevent evasions 
of the law through the " possible interpretations of words 'mer- 
chants' and 'travelers,' together with the notorious capabilities 
of the lower classes of Chinese for perjury," the certificates of the 
exempt classes were made more elaborate, and the word "mer- 
chant" was defined to exclude hucksters, peddlers, and fishermen. 
The certificates were made the only evidence admissible to 
establish a right to r center. These certificates also had to be 
verified by the United States diplomatic officer at the port of 

All attempts to make the bill less severe were futile, and it 
passed the House by a vote of 184 to 12 ; not voting, 125. The 
Senate passed it by a vote of 43 to 12 ; not voting, 21. It was 
approved July 5, 1884. 


In 1886 China of her own accord proposed to prohibit the 
emigration of her laborers to the United States, and also to 
prohibit the return of any laborers who had gone back to China. 


She asked that negotiations be entered into for a treaty embody- 
ing such provisions. Such a treaty was agreed to and signed by 
the representatives of the two countries on March 12, 1888. 

The treaty as signed provided that Chinese laborers should be 
excluded for twenty years. No Chinese laborer returning to 
China was to be allowed to reenter the United States unless he 
left a wife, child, or parent, or property to the value of $1000. 
To avail himself of this right he had to return within a year. 
Chinese subjects other than laborers had to obtain certificates 
of identification from consular representatives of the United 
States at ports of departure. As in the earlier treaty, the China- 
man lawfully residing here was granted all the privileges of 
citizens of the most favored nations. Finally the indemnity 
fund of $276,619.75 which was asked for losses and injuries 
suffered by the Chinese in various anti-Chinese riots in the Pacific 
coast States was included. Before ratifying it the Senate changed 
two articles of the treaty. By the first, all Chinese laborers 
not then in the United States, but who held return certificates 
under existing laws, were not to be allowed to enter. The other 
required the possession of the certificate of identification to insure 


Expecting an immediate ratification of the treaty by China, the 
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, on July 15, 1888, 
reported a bill to prohibit the coming of Chinese laborers accord- 
ing to the stipulations of the treaty just ratified. It was passed 
by the Senate on August 8, and by the House August 20, 1888, 
and was approved September 13, 1888. 

No ratification of the treaty followed, however, and on receipt 
of unofficial reports that China had rejected it, Congress passed 
a bill prohibiting the coming to the United States of Chinese 
laborers. President Cleveland withheld his approval of the bill 
for some time, but finally, on the refusal of China to ratify the 
treaty unless the term of years was made shorter, and other 
conditions were changed, on October i, 1888, he signed it. In 
his message accompanying the approval President Cleveland 
justified his action, claiming that China's delay was a breach of 
the existing treaty, and such a breach as justified Congress in 


legislatively dealing with the matter. He recommended the pay- 
ment of the indemnity provided by the terms of the treaty, and 
he also recommended that the act should not apply to Chinese 
already on their way. The indemnity was paid, but the recom- 
mendation respecting those on the way was not heeded. 


On December 10, 1891, Senator Dolph, of Oregon, introduced 
a bill providing that the act of May 6, 1882, should be continued 
in force for another ten years. This bill was passed by the Senate 
on February 19, 1892. Representative Geary, of California, 
reported a bill absolutely prohibiting the coming of Chinese 
persons, except diplomatists, to the United States. All Chinese 
in the United States were to be obliged to take out certificates, so 
that the authorities could know their whereabouts. Failure to 
procure this certificate meant deportation. The Senate bill was 
not favored in the House, and the more stringent Geary bill was 
passed on April 4, 1892. When it went to the Senate the Dolph 
bill was substituted and a conference asked for. The report 
of the conference committee was finally adopted and the resulting 
bill was approved the day before the expiration of the existing 
law. The law of 1892 contained part of the provisions of the 
Senate bill and part of those of the House bill. By its terms all 
existing laws were continued in force for ten years. All Chinese 
laborers within the United States were required to secure certifi- 
cates within one year, and if any was found without such certifi- 
cate he was to be liable to deportation. 

Upon the passage of this act certain Chinese persons employed 
three prominent attorneys to render an opinion upon the constitu- 
tionality of the law as a whole. Each of these attorneys expressed 
the opinion that the law was unconstitutional, but on May 15, 
1893, the Supreme Court declared it constitutional. Having 
relied upon the opinions of their attorneys, the Chinese did not 
register. When the decision of the Supreme Court was rendered 
the year provided by the statue for certification was ended, 
and there were some 90,000 unregistered Chinamen in the 
country, all liable to deportation. After considering the matter 
and seeing that it would cost more than $6,000,000 to deport 


them, Congress decided it would be more just and economical 
to extend the period for obtaining certificates. Accordingly a 
law was passed, and approved on November 3, 1893, granting an 
additional six months for the taking out of certificates. 


Shortly after the passage of these acts China asked for the 
opening of negotiations looking to a new treaty. Negotiations 
were successful, and on December 8, 1894, a treaty was 
proclaimed. This provided for the exclusion of all Chinese 
laborers for a term of ten years. Those going back to China were 
allowed to return here, providing they had a wife, child, or 
parent, or property worth $1000 somewhere in the United States. 
Registration was still required. It practically covered the same 
grounds as existing legislation, except that the act of October i, 
1888, refusing to Chinese laborers the right to return, was 

After the annexation of Hawaii, on July 7, 1898, Chinese 
immigration to these islands was declared to be regulated by the 
laws of the United States. On April 30, 1900, provision was made 
for the registering of all the Chinese in these islands, and Chinese 
living there were forbidden to enter continental United States. 


As the time came for the lapse of the period of exclusion pro- 
vided by the act of 1892, interest in the exclusion laws again 
became intense, especially on the Pacific coast. A convention 
held in San Francisco on November 22, 1901, and composed 
of more than 1000 representatives of county supervisors, city 
councils, and trade, commercial, and civic organizations, declared 
for a continuance of the exclusion laws. 

The Chinese minister, in a letter to the Secretary of States 
dated December 10, 1901, brought the matter to the attention 
of the United States, " urging an adjustment of the question, 
involved more in harmony with the friendly relations of the two 


On the 1 6th of January, 1902, Senator Mitchell, of Oregon, intro- 
duced a bill to prohibit the coming of Chinese into the United 
States and regulating their residence within her territories. A 
similar bill was introduced in the House by Mr. Kahn, of Cali- 
fornia. On March 26, 1902, the Committee on Foreign Affairs 
reported Mr. Kahn's bill with a substitute. Several provisions 
of the bill were stricken out because they were considered un- 
constitutional. The committee proposed excluding all Chinese 
laborers, but wanted to avoid any discourtesy or annoyance to 
any genuine merchants, students, etc., on the ground that this 
attitude was necessary in the interests of commerce with China. 
It also struck out a clause forbidding the employment of Chinese 
on ships carrying the American flag on the Pacific Ocean, because 
of the injury that would accrue to American shipping. Following 
in the main the committee's recommendations, the bill passed 
the House. The clause relating to seamen, however, was restored 
and all laws were extended to the insular possessions. 

In the Senate the Mitchell and Kahn bills were considered too 
severe, and before passing that body they were amended by 
providing that all existing laws be reenacted, to continue in 
force until a new treaty should be negotiated. As amended the 
bill passed by a vote of 76 to i ; not voting, u. Senator Hoar, 
of Massachusetts, who cast the single opposing vote, still upheld 
his early position that he could not support legislation which 
discriminated against race. The House refused to concur in the 
amendments of the Senate, but the report of the conference 
was adopted in the Senate and the House on April 28. The 
President approved it April 29, 1902. 


Upon the refusal of China to continue the treaty of 1894 after 
1904, on April 27, 1904, Congress again reenacted, extending 
and continuing, without modification, limitation, or condition, 
all laws then in force in so far as they were not inconsistent with 
treaty obligations. 

By the act of 1904 all existing legislation was continued in 
force until otherwise provided by law. All legislation was ex- 
tended to the insular possessions, and Chinese immigration 


from these islands to the United States, or from one island group 
to another, was prohibited, although moving from island to 
island of the same group was allowed. Certificates of residence 
were also required in the insular possessions. The law of 1904 
is still in force. 

During 1906 the question of Japanese immigration became 
acute, and the Pacific States demanded exclusion legislation for 
the Japanese of the same sort as existed for the Chinese. This 
was finally settled in the passport provision inserted in the 
immigration law of February 20, 1907. This provision authorized 
the President to refuse admission to any aliens making use of 
passports to the insular possessions, the Canal Zone, or any 
country other than the United States, to gain admission to the 
continental United States. The President in his proclamation of 
March 14, 1907, availed himself of this provision and excluded 
"Japanese or Korean laborers, skilled or unskilled, who have 
received passports to go to Mexico, Canada, or Hawaii, and come 
therefrom." To give this full force, an understanding with 
Japan was reached that the existing policy of discouraging the 
emigration of her subjects to this country should be continued. 
This agreement, by which the two Governments cooperate to 
secure an effective enforcement of the regulation 

contemplates that the Japanese Government shall issue passports to 
continental United States only to such of its subjects as are non- 
laborers, or are laborers who, in coming to the continent, seek to re- 
sume a formerly acquired domicile, to join a parent, wife, or children 
residing there, or to assume active control of an already possessed 
interest in a farming enterprise in this country. 



A T THEN we speak of the restriction of immigration, at the 
V V present time, we have not in mind measures undertaken 
1 for the purpose of straining out, from the vast throng of foreign- 
ers arriving at our ports, a few hundreds, or possibly thou- 
sands, of persons, deaf, dumb, blind, idiotic, insane, pauper, 
or criminal who might otherwise become a hopeless burden 
upon the country, perhaps even an active source of mischief. 
The propriety, and even the necessity, of adopting such 
measures is now conceded by men of all shades of opinion con- 
cerning the larger subject. There is even noticeable a rather 
severe public feeling regarding the admission of persons of 
any of the classes named above ; perhaps one might say, a 
certain resentment at the attempt of such persons to impose 
themselves upon us. We already have laws which cover a 
considerable part of this ground ; and so far as further legis- 
lation is needed, it will only be necessary for the proper 
executive department of the government to call the attention 
of Congress to the subject. There is a serious effort on the 
part of our immigration officers to enforce the regulations 
prescribed, though when it is said that more than five thou- 
sand persons have passed through the gates at Ellis Island, in 
New York harbor, during the course of a single day, it will be 
seen that no very careful scrutiny is practicable. 

It is true that in the past there has been gross and scanda- 
lous neglect of this matter on the part both of government 
and people, here in the United States. For nearly two genera- 
tions, great numbers of persons utterly unable to earn their 
living, by reason of one or another form of physical or mental 
disability, and others who were, from widely different causes, 

1 From " Economics and Statistic:?," Vol. II, pp. 437-450. Henry Holt and 
Co., 1899. 



unfit to be members of any decent community, were admitted 
to our ports without challenge or question. It is a matter 
of official record that in many cases these persons had been 
directly shipped to us by states or municipalities desiring to 
rid themselves of a burden and a nuisance; while it could 
reasonably be believed that the proportion of such instances 
was far greater than could be officially ascertained. But all 
this is of the past. The question of the restriction of immigration 
to-day does not deal with that phase of the subject. What is 
proposed is, not to keep out some hundreds, or possibly thousands, 
of persons, against whom lie specific objections like those above 
indicated, but to exclude perhaps hundreds of thousands, the 
great majority of whom would be subject to no individual objec- 
tions; who, on the contrary, might fairly be expected to earn 
their living here in this new country, at least up to the standard 
known to them at home, and probably much more. The question 
to-day is, not of preventing the wards of our almshouses, our 
insane asylums, and our jails from being stuffed to repletion by 
new arrivals from Europe ; but of protecting the American rate 
of wages, the American standard of living, and the quality / 
of American citizenship fronTHegradation through the tumultuous [ "-^ 
access of vast throngs of ignorant and brutalized peasantry from 
the countries of eastern and southern Europe. 

The first thing to be said respecting any serious proposition. ' 
importantly to restrict immigration into the United States is,) 
that such a proposition necessarily and properly encounters al 
high degree of incredulity, arising from the traditions of ourl 
country. From the beginning, it has been the policy of the\ 
United States, both officially and according to the prevailing \ 
sentiment of our people, to tolerate, to welcome, and to encourage \ 
immigration, without qualification, and without discrimination. I 
For generations it was the settled opinion of our people, which | 
found no challenge anywhere, that immigration was a source of 
both strength and wealth. Not only was it thought unnecessary 
carefully to scrutinize foreign arrivals at our ports, but the 
figures of any exceptionally large immigration were greeted 
with noisy gratulation. In those days the American people did 
not doubt that they derived a great advantage from this source. 
It is, therefore, natural to ask, Is it possible that our fathers 


and our grandfathers were so far wrong in this matter? Is 
it not, the rather, probable that the present anxiety and ap- 
prehension on the subject are due to transient causes or to 
distinctly false opinions, prejudicing the public mind? The 
challenge which current proposals for the restriction of im- 
migration thus encounter is a perfectly legitimate one, and 
creates a presumption which their advocates are bound to 
deal with. Is it, however, necessarily true that if our fathers 
and grandfathers were right in their view of immigration in 
their own time, those who advocate the restriction of immi- 
gration to-day must be in the wrong? Does it not sometimes 
happen, in the course of national development, that great and 
permanent changes in condition require corresponding changes 
of opinion and of policy ? 

We shall best answer this question by referring to an in- 
stance in an altogether different department of public interest 
and activity. For nearly a hundred years after the peace of 
1783 opened to settlement the lands beyond the Alleghanies, 
the cutting away of the primeval forest was regarded by our 
people not only with toleration, but with the highest ap- 
proval. No physical instrument could have been chosen 
which was so fairly entitled to be called the emblem of 
American civilization as the Axe of the Pioneer. As the 
forests of the Ohio valley bowed themselves before the un- 
staying enterprise of the adventurous settlers of that region, 
all good citizens rejoiced. There are few chapters of human 
history which recount a grander story of human achievement. 
Yet to-day all intelligent men admit that the cutting down 
of our forests, the destruction of the tree-covering of our soil, 
has already gone too far; and both individual States and the 
nation have united in efforts to undo some of the mischief 
which has been wrought to our agriculture and to our climate 
from carrying too far the work of denudation. In precisely 
the same way, it may be true that our fathers were right in 
their view of immigration; while yet the patriotic American 
of to-day may properly shrink in terror from the contempla- 
tion of the vast hordes of ignorant and brutalized peasantry 
thronging to our shores. 


Before inquiring as to general changes in our national con-[ 
dition which may justify a change of opinion and policy in, 
this respect, let us deal briefly, as we must, with two opinions 
regarding the immigration of the past, which stand in the 
way of any fair consideration of the subject. These two 
opinions were, first, that immigration constituted a net re- 
enforcement of our population; secondly, that, in addition 
to this, or irrespective of this, immigration was necessary, in 
order to supply the laborers who should do certain kinds of 
work, imperatively demanded for the building up of our in- 
dustrial and social structure, which natives of the soil were un- 
willing to undertake. 

The former of these opinions was, so far as I am aware, 
held with absolute unanimity by 1 our people ; yet no popular 
belief was ever more unfounded. Space would not serve for 
the full statistical demonstration of the proposition that im- 
migration, during the period from 1830 to 1860, instead of 
constituting a net reenforcement to the population, simply 
resulted in a replacement of native by foreign elements ; but 
I believe it would be practicable to prove this to the satisfaction 
of every fair-minded man. Let it suffice to state a few matters 
which are beyond controversy. 

The population of 1790 was almost wholly a native and 
wholly an acclimated population, and for forty years after- 
wards immigration remained at so low a rate as to be prac- 
tically of no account; yet the people of the United States 
increased in numbers more rapidly than has ever elsewhere 
been known, in regard to any considerable population, over 
any considerable area, through any considerable period of 
time. Between 1790 and 1830 the nation grew from less 
than 4,000,000 to nearly 13,000,000, an increase, in fact, 
of 227 per cent, a rate unparalleled in history. That increase 
was wholly out of the loins of our own people. Each decade 
had seen a growth of between 33 and 38 per cent, a doubling 
once in twenty-two or twenty-three years. During the thirty 

I years which followed 1830, the conditions of life and repro- 
duction in the United States were not less, but more, favorable 
than in the preceding period. Important changes relating to 


the practice of medicine, the food and clothing of people, the 
general habits of living, took place, which were of a nature to 
increase the vitality and reproductive capability of the Ameri- 
can people. Throughout this period, the standard of height, 
of weight, and of chest measurement was steadily rising, with 
the result that, of the men of all nationalities in the giant army 
formed to suppress the slaveholders' rebellion, the native Ameri- 
^:an bore off the palm in respect to physical stature. The 
! decline of this rate of increase among Americans began at the 
1 very time when foreign immigration first assumed considerable 
proportions ; it showed itself first and in the highest degree in 
; those regions, in those States, and in the very counties into 
Which the foreigners most largely entered. It proceeded for 
a long time in such a way as absolutely to offset the foreign 
arrivals, so that in 1850, in spite of the incoming of two and a 
half millions of foreigners during thirty years, our population 
differed by less than ten thousand from the population which 
would have existed, according to the previous rate of increase, 
without reenforcement from abroad. These three facts, which 
might be shown by tables and diagrams, constitute a statistical 
demonstration such as is rarely attained in regard to the opera- 
tion of any social or economic force. 

But it may be asked, Is the proposition that the arrival of 
foreigners brought a check to the native increase a reasonable 
one? Is the cause thus suggested one which has elsewhere 
appeared as competent to produce such an effect? I answer, 
Yes. All human history shows that the principle of popula- 
tion is intensely sensitive to social and economic changes. 
Let social and economic conditions remain as they were, and 
population will go on increasing from year to year, and from 
decade to decade, with a regularity little short of the marvel- 
ous. Let social and economic conditions change, and popu- 
lation instantly responds. The arrival in the United States, 
between 1830 and 1840, and thereafter increasingly, of large 
numbers of degraded peasantry, created for the first time in 
this country distinct social classes, and produced an altera- 
tion of economic relations which could not fail powerfully to 
affect population. The appearance of vast numbers of men, 
foreign in birth and often in language, with a poorer standard 


of living, with habits repellent to our native people, of an~~ 
industrial grade suited only to the lowest kind of manual 
labor, was exactly such a cause as by any student of popula- 
tion would be expected to affect profoundly the growth of 
the native population. Americans shrank alike from the 
social contact and the economic competition thus created. 
They became increasingly unwilling to bring forth sons and 
daughters who should be obliged to compete in the market 
for labor and in the walks of life with those whom they did 
not recognize as of their own grade and condition. It has 
been said by some that during this time habits of luxury were 
entering, to reduce both the disposition and the ability to 
increase among our own population. In some small degree, 
in some restricted localities, this undoubtedly was the case ; 
but prior to 1860 there was no such general growth of luxury 
in the United States as is competent to account for the effect 
seen. Indeed, I believe this was almost wholly due to the cause 
which has been indicated, a cause recognized by every student 
of statistics and economics. 

The second opinion regarding the immigration of the past, 
with which it seems well to deal before proceeding to the 
positive argument of the case, is that, whether desirable on 
other accounts or not, foreign immigration prior to 1860 was 
necessary in order to supply the country with a laboring class 
which should be able and willing to perform the lowest kind 
of work required in the upbuilding of our industrial and social 
structure, especially the making of railroads and canals. The 
opinion which has been cited constitutes, perhaps, the best 
example known to me of that putting the cart before the 
horse which is so commonly seen in sociological inquiry. 
When was it that native Americans first refused to do the 
lowest kinds of manual labor? I answer, When the foreigner 

came. Did the foreigner come because the native American 
refused longer to perform any kind of manual labor ? No ; 
the American refused because the foreigner came. Through 
all our early history, Americans, from Governor Winthrop, 
through Jonathan Edwards, to Ralph Waldo Emerson, had 
done every sort of work which was required for the comfort 
of their families and for the upbuilding of the state, and had 


not been ashamed. They called nothing common or un- 
clean, which needed to be done for their own good or for the 
good of all. But when the country was flooded with ignorant 
and unskilled foreigners, who could do nothing but the lowest 
kind of labor, Americans instinctively shrank from the con- 
tact and the competition thus offered to them. So long as 
manual labor, in whatever field, was to be done by all, each 
in his place, there was no revolt at it; but when working on 
railroads and canals became the sign of a want of education 
and of a low social condition, our own people gave it up, and 
left it to those who were able to do that, and nothing better. 

We have of late had a very curious demonstration of the 
' entire fallacy of the popular mode of reasoning on this sub- 
ject, due to the arrival of a still lower laboring class. Within 
a few years, Harper's Weekly had an article in which the 
editor, after admitting that the Italians who have recently 
come in such vast numbers to our shores do not constitute 
a desirable element of the population, either socially or po- 
litically, yet claimed that it was a highly providential ar- 
rangement, since the Irish, who formerly did all the work of 
the country in the way of ditching and trenching were now 
standing aside. We have only to meet the argument thus in 
its second generation, so to speak, to see the complete fallacy 
of such reasoning. Does the Italian come because the Irish- 
man refuses to work in ditches and trenches, in gangs; or 
has the Irishman taken this position because the Italian has 
come? The latter is undoubtedly the truth; and if the 
administrators of Baron Hirsch's estate send to us 2,000,000 
of Russian Jews, we shall soon find the Italians standing on 
their dignity, and deeming themselves too good to work on 
streets and sewers and railroads. But meanwhile, what of 
the Republic? what of the American standard of living? what 
of the American rate of wages? 

All that sort of reasoning about the necessity of having a 
mean kind of man to do a mean kind of work is greatly to be 
suspected. It is not possible to have a man who is too good 
to do any kind of work which the welfare of his family and 
of the community requires to be done. So long as we were left 
to increase out of the loins of our people, such a sentiment as 



that we are now commenting upon made no appearance in Amer- / 
ican life. It is much to be doubted whether any material growth 
which is to be secured only by the degradation of our citizenship 
is a national gain /even from the most materialistic point of view. 

Let us now inquire what are the changes in our general 
conditions which seem to demand a revision of the opinion 
and policy heretofore held regarding immigration. Three of 
these are subjective, affecting our capability of easily and 
safely taking care of a large and tumultuous access of foreign- 
ers ; the fourth is objective, and concerns the character of the 
immigration now directed upon our shores.. Time will serve for 
only a rapid characterization. 

First, we have the important fact of the complete exhaus- 
tion of the free public lands of the United States. Fifty years 
ago, thirty years ago, vast tracts of arable land were open to 
every person arriving on our shores, under the Preemption Act, 
or later, the Homestead Act. A good farm of one hundred and 
sixty acres could be had at the minimum price of $1.25 an acre, 
or for merely the fees of registration. Under these circumstances 
it was a very simple matter to dispose of a large immigration. 
To-day there is not a good farm within the limits of the United 
States which is to be had under either of these acts. The wild 
and tumultuous scenes which attended the opening to settle- 
ment of the Territory of Oklahoma, a few years ago, and, a 
little later, of the so-called Cherokee Strip, testify eloquently to 
the vast change in our national conditions in this respect. This 
is not to say that more people cannot and will not, sooner or 
later, with more or less of care and pains and effort, be placed 
upon the land of the United States ; but it does of itself alone 
show how vastly the difficulty of providing for immigration has 
increased. The immigrant must now buy his farm from a second | 
hand, and he must pay the price which the value of the land for / 
agricultural purposes determines. In the case of ninety-five out 
of a hundred immigrants, this necessity puts an immediate occu- \ 
pation of the soil out of the question. 

A second change in our national condition, which importantly 
affects our capability of taking care of large numbers of ignorant 
and unskilled foreigners, is the fall of agricultural prices which 
has gone on steadily since 1873. It is not of the slightest 


consequence to inquire into the causes of this fall, whether we 
refer it to the competition of Argentina and of India or to the 
appreciation of gold. We are interested only in the fact. There I 
has been a great reduction in the cost of producing crops in some 
favored regions where steam plows and steam-reaping, steam-/, 
threshing, and steam-sacking machines can be employed ; but / 
there has been no reduction in the cost of producing crops upon j 
the ordinary American farm at all corresponding to the reduction j 
in the price of the produce. It is a necessary consequence of this, ' 
that the ability to employ a large number of uneducated and/I 
unskilled hands in agriculture has greatly diminished. 

Still a third cause which may be indicated, perhaps more 
important than either of those thus far mentioned, is found 
in the fact that we have now a labor problem. We in the United 
States have been wont to pride ourselves greatly upon our so 
easily maintaining peace and keeping the social order unimpaired. 
We have, partly from a reasonable patriotic pride, partly also 
from something like Phariseeism, been much given to pointing 
at our European cousins, and boasting superiority over them in 
this respect. Our self-gratulation has been largely due to over- 
looking social differences between us and them. That boasted 
superiority has been owing mainly, not to our institutions, but 
to our more favorable conditions. There is no country of Europe 
which has not for a long time had a labor problem; that is, 
which has not so largely exploited its own natural resources, 
and which has not a labor supply so nearly meeting the demands 
of the market at their fullest, that hard times and periods of 
industrial depression have brought a serious strain through 
extensive non-employment of labor. From this evil condition 
we have, until recently, happily been free. During the last few 
years, however, we have ourselves come under the shadow of 
this evil, in spite of our magnificent natural resources. We know 
what it is to have even intelligent and skilled labor unemployed 
through considerable periods of time. This change of conditions 
is likely to bring some abatement to our national pride. No 
longer is it a matter of course that every, industrious and tem- 
perate man can find work in the United States. And it is to be 
remembered that, of all nations, we are the one which is least 
qualified to deal with a labor problem. We have not the 


machinery, we have not the army, we have not the police, we 
have not the traditions and instincts, for dealing with such a 
matter, as the great railroad and other strikes of the last few 
years have shown. 

I have spoken of three changes in the national condition, all 
subjective, which greatly affect our capability of dealing with a 
large and tumultuous immigration. There is a fourth, which is 
objective. It concerns the character of the foreigners now resort- 
ing to our shores. Fifty, even thirty, years ago, there was a right- 
ful presumption regarding the average immigrant that he was 
among the most enterprising, thrifty, alert, adventurous, and 
courageous, of the community from which he came. It required 
no small energy, prudence, forethought, and pains to conduct 
the inquiries relating to his migration, to accumulate the necessary 
means, and to find his way across the Atlantic. To-day the 
presumption is completely reversed. So thoroughly has the 
Continent of Europe been crossed by railways, so effectively has 
the business of emigration there been exploited, so much have the 
rates of railroad fares and ocean passage been reduced, that it is 
now among the least thrifty and prosperous members of any / 
European community that the emigration agent finds his best / 
recruiting ground. The care and pains required have been I 
k reduced to a minimum; while the agent of the Red Star Line 
or the White Star Line is everywhere at hand, to suggest migra- 
tion to those who are not getting on well at home. The intending 
emigrants are looked after from the moment they are locked into 
the cars in their native village until they stretch themselves 
upon the floors of the buildings on Ellis Island, in New York. 
Illustrations of the ease and facility with which this Pipe Line 
Immigration is now carried on might be given in profusion. 
So broad and smooth is the channel, there is no reason why 
every foul and stagnant pool of population in Europe, which no 
breath of intellectual or industrial life has stirred for ages, should 
not be decanted upon our soil. Hard times here may momentarily 
check the flow ; but it will not be permanently stopped so long as 
any differw- n f Mov- ** 1 *''- level exists between our population 
and that of the most degraded communities abroad. 

But it is not alone that the presumption regarding the immi- 
grant of to-day is so widely different from that which existed 


regarding the immigrant of thirty or fifty years ago. The im- 
migrant of the former time came almost exclusively from western 
or northern Europe. We have now tapped great reservoirs of 
population then almost unknown to the passenger lists of our 
arriving vessels. Only a short time ago, the immigrants from 
southern Italy, Hungary, Austria, and Russia together made up 
hardly more than one per cent of our immigration. To-day the 
proportion has risen to something like forty per cent, and 
^threatens soon to become fifty or sixty per cent, or even more. 
The entrance into our political, social, and industrial life of 
such vast masses of peasantry, degraded below our utmost 
conceptions, is a matter which no intelligent patriot can look 
upon without the gravest apprehension and alarm. These 
people have no history behind them which is of a nature to give 
encouragement. They have none of the inherited instincts and 
tendencies which made it comparatively easy to deal with the 
immigration of the olden time. They are beaten men from 
I beaten races; representing the worst failures in the struggle 
for existence. Centuries are against them, as centuries were on 
the side of those who formerly came to us. They have none 
of the ideas and aptitudes which fit men to take up readily and 
jfrf easily the problem of self-care and self-government, such as 
belong to those who are descended from the tribes that met under 
the oak trees of old Germany to make laws and choose chieftains. 
Their habits of life, again, are of the most revolting kind. 
Read the description given by Mr. Riis, of the police driving 
from the garbage dumps the miserable beings who try to burrow 
in those depths of unutterable filth and slime in order that they 
may eat and sleep there! Was it in cement like this that the 
foundations of our republic were" laid? What effects must be 
produced upon our social standards, and upon the ambitions 
and aspirations of our people, by a contact so foul and loathsome ? 
The influence upon the American rate of wages of a competition 
like this cannot fail to be injurious and even disastrous. Already 
it has been seriously felt in the tobacco manufacture, in the cloth- 
ing trade, and in many forms of mining industry; and unless 
this access of vast numbers of unskilled workmen of the lowest 
type, in a market already fully supplied with labor, shall be 
checked, it cannot fail to go on from bad to worse, in breaking 


down the standard which has been maintained with so much care 
and at so much cost. The competition of paupers is far morel 
telling and more killing than the competition of pauper-made/ 
I goods. Degraded labor in the slums of foreign cities may bel 
prejudicial to intelligent, ambitious, self-respecting labor here; 
' but it does not threaten half so much evil as does degraded labor 
in the garrets of our native cities. 

Finally, the present situation is most menacing to our peace 
and political safety. In all the social and industrial disorders 
of this country since 1877, the foreign elements have proved 
themselves the ready tools of demagogues in defying the law, 
in destroying property, and in working violence. A learned 
clergyman who mingled with the socialistic mob which, two 
years ago, threatened the State House and the governor of 
Massachusetts, told me that during the entire disturbance he 
heard no word spoken in any language which he knew, 
either in English, in German, or in French. There may be 
those who can contemplate the addition to our population 
of vast numbers of persons having no inherited instincts 
of self-government and respect for law; knowing no restraint 
upon their own passions but the club of the policeman or the 
bayonet of the soldier; forming communities, by the tens of 
thousands, in which only foreign tongues are spoken, and into 
which can steal no influence from our free institutions and from 
popular discussion. But I confess to being far less optimistic. 
I have conversed with one of the highest officers of the United 
States army and with one of the highest officers of the civil 
government regarding the state of affairs which existed during 
the summer of 1894 ; and the revelations they made of facts not 
generally known, going to show how the ship of state grazed 
along its whole side upon the rocks, were enough to appall the 
most sanguine American, the most hearty believer in free 
government. Have we the right to expose the republic to any 
increase of the dangers from this source which now so manifestly 
threaten our peace and safety? 

For it is never to be forgotten that self-defense is the first 
law of nature and of nations. If that man who careth^ not 
for his own household is worse than an infidel, the nation which 
permits its institutions to be endangered by any cause which 


can fairly be removed is guilty, not less in Christian than in 
natural law. Charity begins at home; and while the people 
of the United States have gladly offered an asylum to millions 
upon millions of the distressed and unfortunate of other lands 
and climes, they have no right to carry their hospitality one step 
beyond the line where American institutions, the American rate 
I of wages, the American standard of living, are brought into 
^serious peril. All the good the United States could do by offer- 
ring indiscriminate hospitality to a few millions more of European 
peasants, whose places at home will, within another generation, 
I/ be filled by others as miserable as themselves, would not com- 
V^pensate for any permanent injury done to our republic. Our 
highest duty to charity and to humanity is to make this great 
experiment, here, of free laws and educated labor, the most 
triumphant success that can possibly be attained. In this way 
we shall do far more for Europe than by allowing its city slums 
and its vast stagnant reservoirs of degraded peasantry to be 
drained off upon our soil. Within the decade between 1880 
and 1890 five and a quarter millions of foreigners entered our 
ports ! No nation in human history ever undertook to deal with 
such masses of alien population. That man must be a sentimen- 
talist and an optimist beyond all bounds of reason who believes 
that we can take such a load upon the national stomach without 
a failure of assimilation, and without great danger to the healthy 
life of the nation. For one, I believe it is time that we should take 
a rest, and give our social, political, and industrial system some 
chance to recuperate. The problems which so sternly confront us 
to-day are serious enough, without being complicated and aggra- 
vated by the addition of some millions of Hungarians, Bohemians, 
Poles, south Italians, and Russian Jews. 




ON THE main subject the Immigration Commission has N. 
spoken clearly and its recommendation should become law. 
There must be effective restriction and selection for the purpose 
of maintaining American standards of living. In reply to the 
demand for a more rigorous selection of immigrants we hear two 
mutually contradictory assertions. One is that there are not 
enough immigrants to do any harm - after allowance is made 
for those who return. The other is that we have no standards 
anyway, at least that there is no one who has a right to speak 
for them, as we are all immigrants of a first, or a later, generation. 
Both assertions are untenable. There are, in fact, American 
standards, transplanted in part by those who founded our 
republic, developed in part on our 'own soil, influenced by the 
reaction of other standards in other nations, and yet distinctively 
American: standards moral, political, and economic; stand- 
ards unique and precious, worth fighting for; worth, if need be,, 
dying for; worth preserving at all hazards for ourselves and 
our children, and yet not selfishly for our sake and theirs only, 
but also as a sacred duty towards mankind ; and these standards 
are gravely imperiled by the annual addition of an unsifted 
million of newcomers whose standards are different from ours. 
We do have a right to assert vigorously the value of our nation 
heritage, and, though it may 'seem old-fashioned to say it, we 
do have a sacred duty to transmit it unimpaired which is not 
to say unchanged to our posterity. To some extent this 
heritage is one of race. Its creators gave it to us with their blood. 
It has been enriched by many crossings of races, but biologists 
tell us that mingling within limits is beneficial, beyond those 
limits productive only of n mongrel and degenerate breed. Let 
no one read into this expression of national responsibility for 

1 From The Survey, February 4, 1911. 


American standards a shred of bigotry or prejudice against any 
of the peoples of the earth. Modern social ideals are neither pro- 
vincial nor sectarian. It is precisely because of a passionate 
attachment to the true interests of humanity that social workers 
may look with profound distrust upon the demand for cheap 
immigrant labor. Genuine humane sentiment is not inconsistent 
with the maintenance of community and national standards. 

Employers of the exploiting type make no mistake, from their 
own point of view, when they demand cheap immigrant labor. 
. They can figure it out with great precision. They know that as 
a rule this labor is less skillful, less intelligent, less efficient, less 
inherently desirable, than the native labor or the earlier immi- 
grant labor from more closely related peoples. But there are 
great compensations. It is the very best labor in one particular. 
It can be exploited. That is the whole disagreeable truth in a 
nutshell. Lower wages, longer hours, crowded living quarters, 
fewer claimants in case of death or injury from accidents, less 
trade-union "nonsense," fewer trade disputes, less sympathy 
from the disinterested public for the laborer's side when there is 
a dispute, less public concern generally as to what is happening 
in the mill when the laborers are foreigners. Such are some 
of the considerations which turn the balance in favor of immigrant 
labor. The wages demanded are enough lower to give an ample 
margin for more effective supervision. The general tendency of 
improved machinery is to decrease relatively the demand for 
skilled labor, thus permitting the profitable employment of 
fresh supplies of entirely unskilled, but physically strong, immi- 
grants. Out on the railways of the Northwest the first object 
for which immigrants will strike is for the privilege of working 
twelve hours instead of ten, and the next is for the privilege of 
working on Sunday. In this instance employers, paying by 
the hour and not having expensive mills in operation, resist the 
demand, for the labor of the eleventh and twelfth hours is rela- 
tively unproductive. The men are already exhausted. To 
laborers of a higher standard the leisure for physical recuperation 
would be worth more than the small addition to their wages. 
To these men the money is more important. Here we have a 
simple, but perfect, illustration of that conflict of standards to 
which the nation as a whole cannot afford to be indifferent. 


It is then in the ultimate and in the very immediate interests 
of the oppressed and struggling everywhere that America should 
maintain her standards. She may give generously from her 
surplus. She may enlighten by her example. She may throw her 
influence and if necessary exert her might against oppression. 
But one thing she may not do : extinguish the light with which 
she is to enlighten the world. To lower our own standards is the 
only treason. To reduce the position of our workingmen to that 
of the communities from which our immigration is coming is to 
destroy, perhaps forever, the very power to serve. 

There should be no opposition or rivalry between the policy 
of selection and the policy of distribution and assimilation by 
every practicable device. Both are essential. No restriction 
which is at all likely to be adopted will sensibly diminish the 
need for such aid both by philanthropy and by government. 
Good hard thinking as to how best to assimilate those whom we 
already have and those who are certain to come even under a 
policy of much more strict selection is of the utmost importance. 
Except for the Educational Alliance, the Industrial Removal 
Society, and the Society for the Protection of Italian Immigrants, 
there has been almost no instructive experiment and scarcely any 
clear thinking on this subject. Let these experiments by all greatly extended, but let us be modest about calling 
any of them as yet a " true solution of the immigration question." 
Under the conditions of actual life we shall have to deal in partial 
solutions, among which, as we have intimated, the recommenda- 
tion of the Immigrant Commission as to restriction deserves 
prompt and favorable consideration. 

The illiteracy test is crude and unsatisfactory but it is prac- 
ticable and humane. As a rule ambitious illiterates desiring to 
migrate can overcome this disqualification, and the fact of their 
having done so will augur well for their future success in the 
land of their adoption. 


^inO THE HOUSE or REPRESENTATIVES: I hereby return 

X without approval House bill No. 7864, entitled "An act to 
amend the immigration laws of the United States." 

By the first section of this bill it is proposed to amend section 
i of the act of March 3, 1891, relating to immigration by adding 
to the classes of aliens thereby excluded from admission to the 
United States the following : 

"All persons physically capable and over 16 years of age who 
cannot read and write the English language or some other 
language. . . ." 

A radical departure from our national policy relating to immi- 
grants is here. presented. Heretofore we have welcomed all who 
came to us from other lands except these whose moral or physical 
condition or history threatened danger to our national welfare 
and safety. Relying upon the zealous watchfulness of our people 
to prevent injury to our political and social fabric, we have en- 
couraged those coming from foreign countries to cast their lot 
with us and join in the development of our vast domain, securing 
^in return a share in the blessings of American citizenship. 

A century's stupendous growth, largely due to the assimilation 
and thrift of millions of sturdy and patriotic adopted citizens, 
attests the success of this generous and free-handed policy which, 
while guarding the people's interests, exacts from our immigrants 
only physical and moral soundness and a willingness and ability 
to work. 

A contemplation of the grand results of this policy cannot fail 
to rouse a sentiment in its defense, for however it might have 
been regarded as an original proposition and viewed as an 
experiment, its accomplishments are such that if it is to be up- 
rooted at this late day its disadvantages should be plainly 

1 From the Congressional Record, February i, 1917, pp. 2691-2694. 



apparent and the substitute adopted should be just and adequate, 
free from uncertainties, and guarded against difficult or oppressive 

It is not claimed, I believe, that the time has come for the 
further restriction of immigration on the ground that an excess 
of population overcrowds our land. 

It is said, however, that the quality of recent immigration is 
undesirable. The time is quite within recent memory when the 
same thing was said of immigrants who, with their descendants, 
are now numbered among our best citizens. 

A careful examination of this bill has convinced me that for the 
reasons given and others not specifically stated its provisions are 
unnecessarily harsh and oppressive, and that its defects in con- 
struction would cause vexation and its operation would result in 
harm to our citizens. 


To THE SENATE : I return herewith, without my approval, 

s. 3175- 

I do this with great reluctance. The bill contains many valu- 
able amendments to the present immigration law which will 
insure greater certainty in excluding undesirable immigrants. 

The bill received strong support in both Houses and was recom- 
mended by an able commission after an extended investigation 
and carefully drawn conclusions. 

But I cannot make up my mind to sign a bill which in its chief 
provision violates a principle that ought, in my opinion, to be 
upheld in dealing with our immigration. I refer to the literacy 
test. For the reasons stated in Secretary Nagel's letter to me, I 
cannot approve that test. 



To THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES : It is with unaffected 
regret that I find myself constrained by clear conviction to 
return this bill (H. R. 6060, "An act to regulate the immigration 


of aliens to and the residence of aliens in the United States") 
without my signature. Not only do I feel it to be a very serious 
matter to exercise the power of veto in any case, because it in- 
volves opposing the single judgment of the President to the judg- 
ment of a majority of both the Houses of the Congress, a step 
which no man who realizes his own liability to error can take 
without great hesitation, but also because this particular bill is 
in so many important respects admirable, well conceived, and 
desirable. Its enactment into law would undoubtedly enhance 
the efficiency and improve the methods of handling the important 
branch of the public service to which it relates. But candor and 
a sense of duty with regard to the responsibility so clearly im- 
posed upon me by the Constitution in matters of legislation leave 
me no choice but to dissent. 

In two particulars of vital consequence this bill embodies a 
radical departure from the traditional and long-established policy 
of this country, a policy in which our people have conceived the 
very character of their Government to be expressed, the very 
mission and spirit of the Nation in respect of its relations to the 
peoples of the world outside their borders. It seeks to all but 
close entirely the gates of asylum which have always been open 
to those who could find nowhere else the right and opportunity of 
constitutional agitation for what they conceived to be the natural 
and inalienable rights of men ; and it excludes those to whom the 
opportunities of elementary education have been denied, without 
regard to their character, their purposes, or their natural capacity. 

Restrictions like these, adopted earlier in our history as a 
Nation, would very materially have altered the course and cooled 
the humane ardors of our politics. The right of political asylum 
has brought to this country many a man of noble character and 
elevated purpose who was marked as an outlaw in his own less 
fortunate land, and who has yet become an ornament to our 
citizenship and to our public councils. The children and the 
compatriots of these illustrious Americans must stand amazed 
to see the representatives of their Nation now resolved, in the 
fullness of our national stregnth and at the maturity of our great 
institutions, to risk turning such men back from our shores with- 
out test of quality or purpose. It is difficult for me to believe 
that the full effect of this feature of the bill was realized when it 


was framed and adopted, and it is impossible for me to assent 
to it in the form in which it is here cast. 

The literacy test and the tests and restrictions which accompany 
it constitute an even more radical change in the policy of the 
Nation. Hitherto we have generously kept our doors open to all 
who were not unfitted by reason of disease or incapacity for 
self-support or such personal records and antecedents as were 
likely to make them a menace to our peace and order or to the 
wholesome and essential relationships of life. In this bill it is 
proposed to turn away from tests of character and of quality and 
impose tests which exclude and restrict, for the new tests here 
embodied are not tests of quality or of character or of personal 
fitness, but tests of opportunity. Those who come seeking oppor- 
tunity are not to be admitted unless they have already had one 
of the chief of the opportunities they seek, the opportunity of 
education. The object of such provisions is restriction, not 

If the people of this country have made up their minds to 
limit the number of immigrants by arbitrary tests and so reverse 
the policy of all the generations of Americans that have gone 
before them, it is their right to do so. I am their servant and 
have no license to stand in their way. But I do not believe that 
they have. I respectfully submit that no one can quote their 
mandate to that effect. Has any political party ever avowed a 
policy of restriction of this fundamental matter, gone to the 
country on it, and been commissioned to control its legislation? 
Does this bill rest upon the conscious and universal assent and 
desire of the American people ? I doubt it. It is because I doubt 
it that I make bold to dissent from it. I am willing to abide by 
the verdict, but not until it has been rendered. Let the platforms 
of parties speak out upon this policy and the people pronounce 
their wish. The matter is too fundamental to be settled otherwise. 

I have no pride of opinion in this question. I am not foolish 
enough to profess to know the wishes and ideals of America 
better than the body of her chosen representatives know them. 
I only want instruction direct from those whose fortunes, with 
ours and all men's, are involved. 




I very much regret to return this bill without my signature. 

In most of the provisions of the bill I should be very glad to 
concur, but! cannot rid myself of the conviction that the literacy 
test constitutes a radical change in the policy of the nation which 
is not justified in principle. It is not a test of character, of quality, 
or of personal fitness, but would operate in most cases merely as 
a penalty for lack of opportunity in the country from which the 
alien seeking admission came. The opportunity to gain an edu- 
^cation is in many cases one of the chief opportunities sought by 
the immigrant in coming to the United States, and our experience 
in the past has not been that the illiterate immigrant is as such an 
undesirable immigrant. Tests of quality and of purpose cannot be 
objected to on principle, but tests of opportunity surely may be. 

Moreover, even if this test might be equitably insisted on, one 
of the exceptions proposed to its application involves a provision 
which might lead to very delicate and hazardous diplomatic 

The bill exempts from the operation of the literacy test "all 
aliens who shall prove to the satisfaction of the proper immigra- 
tion officer or to the Secretary of Labor that they are seeking 
admission to the United States to avoid religious persecution in 
the country of their last permanent residence, whether such 
persecution be evidenced by overt acts or by laws or governmental 
regulations that discriminate against the alien or the race to 
which he belongs because of his religious faith." 

Such a provision, so applied and administered, would oblige the 
officer concerned in effect to pass judgment upon the laws and 
practices of a foreign government, and declare that they did or did 
not constitute religious persecutions. This would, to say the least, 
be a most invidious function for any administrative officer of this 
Government to perform, and it is not only possible, but probable, 
that very serious questions of international justice and comity 
would arise between this Government and the government or gov- 
ernments thus officially condemned, should its exercise be adopted. 

I dare say that these consequences were not in the minds of the 
proponents of this provision, but the provision separately and in 
itself renders it unwise for me to give my assent to this legislation 
in its present form. 





ASSEMBLED, That the word "alien" wherever used in this Act 
shall include any person not a native-born or naturalized citizen 
of the United States ; but this definition shall not be held to in- 
clude Indians of the United States not. taxed or citizens of the 
islands under the jurisdiction of the United States. That the- term 
" United States" as used in the title as well as in the various 
sections of this Act shall be construed to mean the United States, 
and any waters, territory, or other place subject to the jurisdic- 
tion thereof, except the Isthmian Canal Zone ; but if any alien 
shall leave the Canal Zone or any insular possession of the United 
States and attempt to enter any other place under the jurisdic- 
tion of the United States, nothing contained in this Act shall be 
construed as permitting him to enter under any other conditions 
than those applicable to all aliens. That the term " seaman" as 
used in this Act shall include every person signed on the ship's 
articles and employed in any capacity on board any vessel arriv- 
ing in the United States from any foreign port or place. 

That this Act shall be enforced in the Philippine Islands by 
officers of the general government thereof, unless and until it is 
superseded by an act passed by the Philippine Legislature and 
approved by the President of the United States to regulate 
immigration in the Philippine Islands as authorized in the Act 
entitled "An Act to declare the purpose of the people of the 
United States as to the future political status of the people of the 
Philippine Islands, and to provide a more autonomous govern- 
ment for those islands," approved August twenty-ninth, nineteen 
hundred and sixteen. 

SEC. 2. That there shall be levied, collected, and paid a tax of 
$8 for every alien, including alien seamen regularly admitted as 



provided in this Act, entering the United States : Provided, That 
children under sixteen years of age who accompany their father 
or their mother shall not be subject to said tax. The said tax 
shall be paid to the collector of customs of the port or customs 
district to which said alien shall come, or, if there be no collector 
at such port or district, then to the collector nearest thereto, by 
the master, agent, owner, or consignee of the vessel, trans- 
portation line, or other conveyance or vehicle bringing such alien 
to the United States, or by the alien himself if he does not come 
by a vessel, transportation line, or other conveyance or vehicle 
or when collection from the master, agent, owner, or consignee 
of the vessel, transportation line, or other conveyance, or vehicle 
bringing such alien to the United States is impracticable. The 
tax imposed by this section shall be a lien upon the vessel or other 
vehicle of carriage or transportation bringing such aliens to the 
United States, and shall be a debt in favor of the United States 
against the owner or owners of such vessel or other vehicle, and 
the payment of such tax may be enforced by any legal or equi- 
table remedy. That the said tax shall not be levied on account 
of aliens who enter the United States after an uninterrupted 
residence of at least one year immediately preceding such entrance 
in the Dominion of Canada, Newfoundland, the Republic of 
Cuba, or the Republic of Mexico, for a temporary stay, nor on 
account of otherwise admissible residents or citizens of any 
possession of the United States, nor on account of aliens in transit 
through the United States, nor upon aliens who have been law- 
fully admitted to the United States and who later shall go in 
transit from one part of the United States to another through 
foreign contiguous territory, and the Commissioner General of 
Immigration with the approval of the Secretary of Labor shall 
issue rules and regulations and prescribe the conditions neces- 
sary to prevent abuse of these exceptions : Provided, That the 
Commissioner-General of Immigration, under the direction or 
with the approval of the Secretary of Labor, by agreement with 
transportation lines, as provided in section twenty-three of this 
Act, may arrange in some other manner for the payment of the 
tax imposed by this section upon any or all aliens seeking ad- 
mission from foreign contiguous territory : Provided further, 
That said tax, when levied upon aliens entering the Philippine 


Islands, shall be paid into the treasury of said islands, to be 
expended for the benefit of such islands : Provided further, That 
in the cases of aliens applying for admission from foreign con- 
tiguous territory and rejected, the head tax collected shall upon 
application, upon a blank which shall be furnished and explained 
to him, be refunded to the alien. 

SEC. 3. That the following classes of aliens shall be excluded 
from admission into the United States: All idiots, imbeciles, 
feeble-minded persons, epileptics, insane persons ; persons who 
have had one or more attacks of insanity at any time previously ; 
persons of constitutional psychopathic inferiority ; persons with 
chronic alcoholism ; paupers ; professional beggars ; vagrants ; 
persons afflicted with tuberculosis in any form or with a loathsome 
or dangerous contagious disease ; persons not comprehended 
within any of the foregoing excluded classes who are found to be 
and are certified by the examining surgeon as being mentally or 
physically defective, such physical defect being of a nature which 
may affect the ability of such alien to earn a living ; persons who 
have been convicted of or admit having committed a felony or 
other crime or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude; po- 
lygamists, or persons who practice polygamy or believe in or 
advocate the practice of polygamy ; anarchists, or persons who 
believe in or advocate the overthrow by force or violence of the 
Government of the United States, or of all forms of law, or who 
disbelieve in or are opposed to organized government, or who 
advocate the assassination of public officials, or who advocate 
or teach the unlawful destruction of property ; persons who are 
members of or affiliated with any organization entertaining and 
teaching disbelief in or opposition to organized government, or 
who advocate or teach the duty, necessity, or propriety of the 
unlawful assaulting or killing of any officer or officers, either of 
specific individuals or of officers generally, of the Government of 
the United States or of any other organized government, because 
of his or their official character, or who advocate or teach the 
unlawful destruction of property ; prostitutes, or persons coming 
into the United States for the purpose of prostitution or for any 
other immoral purpose ; persons who directly or indirectly pro- 
cure or attempt to procure or import prostitutes or persons for 
the purpose of prostitution or for any other immoral purpose; 


persons who are supported by or receive in whole or in part the 
proceeds of prostitution; persons hereinafter called contract 
laborers, who have been induced, assisted, encouraged, or solicited 
to migrate to this country by offers or promises of employment, 
whether such offers or promises are true or false, or in consequence 
of agreements, oral, written or printed, express or implied, to 
perform labor in this country of any kind, skilled or unskilled ; 
persons who have come in consequence of advertisements for 
laborers printed, published, or distributed in a foreign country; 
persons likely to become a public charge ; persons who have been 
deported under any of the provisions of this Act, and who may 
again seek admission within one year from the date of such 
deportation, unless prior to their reembarkation at a foreign 
port or their attempt to be admitted from foreign contiguous 
territory the Secretary of Labor shall have consented to their 
reapplying for admission; persons whose tickets or passage is 
paid for with the money of another, or who are assisted by others 
to come, unless it is affirmatively and satisfactorily shown that 
such persons do not belong to one of the foregoing excluded 
classes ; persons whose ticket or passage is paid for by any 
corporation, association, society, municipality, or foreign Govern- 
ment, either directly or indirectly ; stowaways, except that any 
such stowaway, if otherwise admissible, may be admitted in the 
discretion of the Secretary of Labor ; all children under sixteen 
years of age, unaccompanied by or not coming to one or both 
of their parents, except that any such children may, in the dis- 
cretion of the Secretary of Labor, be admitted if in his opinion 
they are not likely to become a public charge and are otherwise 
eligible; unless otherwise provided for by existing treaties, 
persons who are natives of islands not possessed by the United 
States adjacent to the Continent of Asia, situate south of the 
twentieth parallel latitude north, west of the one hundred and 
sixtieth meridian of longitude east from Greenwich, and north 
of the tenth parallel of latitude south, or who are natives of any 
country, province, or dependency situate on the Continent of 
Asia west of the one hundred and tenth meridian of longitude 
east from Greenwich and east of the fiftieth meridian of longitude 
east from Greenwich and south of the fiftieth parallel of latitude 
north, except that portion of said territory situate between the 


fiftieth and the sixty-fourth meridians of longitude east from 
Greenwich and the twenty-fourth and thirty-eighth parallels of 
latitude north, and no alien now in any way excluded from, or 
prevented from entering, the United States shall be admitted to 
the United States. The provision next foregoing, however, shall 
not apply to persons of the following status or occupations: 
Government officers, ministers or religious teachers, missionaries, 
lawyers, physicians, chemists, civil engineers, teachers, students, 
authors, artists, merchants, and travelers for curiosity or pleasure 
nor to their legal wives or their children under sixteen years of 
age who shall accompany them or who subsequently may apply 
for admission to the United States, but such persons or their 
legal wives or foreign-born children who fail to maintain in the 
United States a status or occupation placing them within the 
excepted classes shall be deemed to be in the United States 
contrary to law, and shall be subject to deportation as provided 
in section nineteen of this Act. 

That after three months from the passage of this Act, in addi- 
tion to the aliens who are by law now excluded from admission 
into the United States, the following persons shall also be 
excluded from admission thereto, to wit: 

All aliens over sixteen years of age, physically capable of read- 
ing, who cannot read the English language, or some other lan- 
guage or dialect, including Hebrew or Yiddish : Provided, That 
any admissible alien, or any alien heretofore or hereafter legally 
admitted, -or any citizen of the United States, may bring in or 
send for his father or grandfather over fifty-five years of age, 
his wife, his mother, his grandmother, or his unmarried or 
widowed daughter, if otherwise admissible, whether such relative 
can read or not ; and such relative shall be permitted to enter. 
That for the purpose of ascertaining whether aliens can read the 
immigrant inspectors shall be furnished with slips of uniform 
size, prepared under the direction of the Secretary of Labor, each 
containing not less than thirty nor more than forty words in 
ordinary use, printed in plainly legible type in some one of the 
various languages or dialects of immigrants. Each alien may 
designate the particular language or dialect in which he desires 
the examination to be made, and shall be required to read the 
words printed on the slip in such language or dialect. That the 


following classes of persons shall be exempt from the operation of 
the illiteracy test, to wit : All aliens who shall prove to the satis- 
faction of the proper immigration officer or to the Secretary of 
Labor that they are seeking admission to the United States to 
avoid religious persecution in the country of their last permanent 
residence, whether such persecution be evidenced by overt acts 
or by laws or governmental regulations that discriminate against 
the alien or the race to which he belongs because of his religious 
faith ; all aliens who have been lawfully admitted to the United 
States and who have resided therein continuously for five years 
and who return to the United States within six months from the 
date of their departure therefrom; all aliens in transit through 
the United States; all aliens who have been lawfully admitted 
to the United States and who later shall go in transit from one 
part of the United States to another through foreign contiguous 
territory: Provided, That nothing in this Act shall exclude, if 
otherwise admissible, persons convicted, or who admit the com- 
mission, or who teach or advocate the commission, of an offense 
purely political : Provided further, That the provisions of this 
Act, relating to the payments for tickets or passage by any 
corporation, association, society, municipality, or foreign Govern- 
ment shall not apply to the tickets or passage of aliens in imme- 
diate and continuous transit through the United States to foreign 
contiguous territory : Provided further, That skilled labor, if 
otherwise admissible, may be imported if labor of like kind un- 
employed cannot be found in this country, and the question of 
the necessity of importing such skilled labor in any particular 
instance may be determined by the Secretary of Labor upon the 
application of any person interested, such application to be made 
before such importation, and such determination by the Secretary 
of Labor to be reached after a full hearing and an investigation 
into the facts of the case : Provided further, That the provisions of 
this law applicable to contract labor shall not be held to exclude 
professional actors, artists, lecturers, singers, nurses, ministers of 
any religious denomination, professors for colleges or seminaries, 
persons belonging to any recognized learned profession, or persons 
employed as domestic servants : Provided further, That whenever 
the President shall be satisfied that passports issued by any 
foreign Government to its citizens or subjects to go to any country 


other than the United States, or to any insular possession of the 
United States or to the Canal Zone, are being used for the pur- 
pose of enabling the holder to come to the continental territory 
of the United States to the detriment of labor conditions therein, 
the President shall refuse to permit such citizens or subjects of 
the country issuing such passports to enter the continental terri- 
tory of the United States from such other country or from such 
insular possession or from the Canal Zone : Provided further, 
That aliens returning after a temporary 'absence to an unrelin- 
quished United States domicile of seven consecutive years may 
be admitted in the discretion of the Secretary of Labor, and under 
such conditions as he may prescribe : Provided further, That noth- 
ing in the contract-labor or reading-test provisions of this Act 
shall be construed to prevent, hinder, or restrict any alien 
exhibitor, or holder of concession or privilege for any fair or 
exposition authorized by Act of Congress, from bringing into the 
United States, under contract, such otherwise admissible alien 
mechanics, artisans, agents, or other employees, natives of his 
country as may be necessary for installing or conducting his 
exhibit or for preparing for installing or conducting any business 
authorized or permitted under any concession or privilege which 
may have been or may be granted by any such fair or exposition 
in connection therewith, under such rules and regulations as the 
Commissioner- General of Immigration, with the approval of the 
Secretary of Labor, may prescribe both as to the admission and 
return of such persons : Provided further, That the Commissioner- 
General of Immigration with the approval of the Secretary of 
Labor shall issue rules and prescribe conditions, including 
exaction of such bonds as may be necessary, to control and regu- 
late the admission and return of otherwise inadmissible aliens 
applying for temporary admission : Provided further -, That nothing 
in this Act shall be construed to apply to accredited officials of 
foreign Governments, nor to their suites, families, or guests. 

SEC. 4. That the importation into the United States of any 
alien for the purpose of prostitution, or for any other immoral 
purpose, is hereby forbidden ; and whoever shall, directly or in- 
directly, import, or attempt to import into the United States 
any alien for the purpose of prostitution or for any other immoral 
purpose, or shall hold or attempt to hold any alien for any such 


purpose in pursuance of such illegal importation, or shall keep, 
maintain, control, support, employ, or harbor in any house or 
other place, for the purpose of prostitution or for any other im- 
moral purpose, any alien, in pursuance of such illegal importation 
shall in every such case be deemed guilty of a felony, and on 
conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment for a 
term of not more than ten years and by a fine of not more than 
$5000. Jurisdiction for the trial and punishment of the felonies 
hereinbefore set forth shall be in any district to or into which 
said alien is brought in pursuance of said importation by the 
person or persons accused, or in any .district in which a violation 
of any of the foregoing provisions of this section occurs. That 
any alien who shall, after he has been excluded and deported or 
arrested and deported in pursuance of the provisions of this Act 
which relate to prostitutes, procurers, or other like immoral 
persons, attempt thereafter to return to or to enter the United 
States shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and on con- 
viction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of 
not more than two years. In all prosecutions under this section 
the testimony of a husband or wife shall be admissible and com- 
petent evidence against each other. 

SEC. 5. That it shall be unlawful for any person, company, 
partnership, or corporation, in any manner whatsoever, to pre- 
pay the transportation or in any way to induce, assist, encourage, 
or solicit, or attempt to induce, assist, encourage, or solicit the 
importation or migration of any contract laborer or contract 
laborers into the United States, unless such contract laborer or 
contract laborers are exempted under the fifth proviso of section 
three of this Act, or have been imported with the permission 
of the Secretary of Labor in accordance with the fourth proviso 
of said section, and for every violation of any of the provisions 
of this section the person, partnership, company, or corporation 
violating the same shall forfeit and pay for every such offense 
the sum of $1000, which may be sued for and recovered by the 
United States, as debts of like amount are now recovered in the 
courts of the United States. For every violation of the provisions 
hereof the person violating the same may be prosecuted in a 
criminal action for a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof 
shall be punished by a fine of $1000 or by imprisonment for 


a term of not less than six months nor more than two years; 
and under either the civil or the criminal procedure mentioned 
separate suits or prosecutions may be brought for each alien 
thus offered or promised employment as aforesaid. The Depart- 
ment of Justice, with the approval of the Department of Labor, 
may from any fines or penalties received pay rewards to persons 
other than Government employees who may furnish information 
leading to the recovery of any such penalties, or to the arrest and 
punishment of any person, as in this section provided. 

SEC. 6. That it shall be unlawful and be deemed a violation 
of section five of this Act to induce, assist, encourage, or solicit 
or attempt to induce, assist, encourage, or solicit any alien to come 
into the United States by promise of employment through adver- 
tisements printed, published, or distributed in any foreign 
country, whether such promise is true or false, and either the 
civil or criminal penalty or both imposed by said section shall be 
applicable to such a case. 

SEC. 7. That it shall be unlawful for any person, association, 
society, company, partnership, corporation, or others engaged in 
the business of transporting aliens to or within the United States, 
including owners, masters, officers, and agents of vessels, directly 
or indirectly, by writing, printing, oral representation, payment 
of any commissions to an alien coming into the United States, 
allowance of any rebates to an alien coming into the United 
States, or otherwise to solicit, invite, or encourage or attempt to 
solicit, invite, or encourage any alien to come into the United 
States, and any one violating any provision hereof shall be subject 
to either the civil or the criminal prosecution, or both, prescribed 
by section five of this Act ; or if it shall appear to the satisfaction 
of the Secretary of Labor that any owner, master, officer, or 
agent of a vessel has brought or caused to be brought to a port 
of the United States any alien so solicited, invited, or encouraged 
to come by such owner, master, officer, or agent, such owner, 
master, officer, or agent shall pay to the collector of customs of 
the customs district in which the port of arrival is located, or in 
which any vessel of the line may be found, the sum of $400 
for each and every such violation ; and no vessel shall be granted 
clearance pending the determination of the question of the 
liability to the payment of such fine, or while the fine imposed 


remains unpaid, nor shall such fine be remitted or refunded : 
Provided, That clearance may be granted prior to the deter- 
mination of such questions upon the deposit with the collector of 
customs of a sum sufficient to cover such fine : Provided further, 
that whenever it shall be shown to the satisfaction of the 
Secretary of Labor that the provisions of this section are per- 
sistently violated by or on behalf of any transportation com- 
pany, it shall be the duty of said Secretary to deny to such 
company the privilege of landing alien immigrant passengers of 
any or all classes at United States ports for such a period as in 
his judgment may be necessary to insure an observance of such 
provisions : Provided further, That this section shall not be held 
to prevent transportation companies from issuing letters, circu- 
lars, or advertisements, confined strictly to stating the sailing 
of their vessels and terms and facilities of transportation therein : 
Provided further, That under sections five, six, and seven hereof 
it shall be presumed from the fact that any person, company, 
partnership, corporation, association, or society induces, assists, 
encourages, solicits or invites, or attempts to induce, assist, 
encourage, solicit or invite the importation, migration or coming 
of an alien from a country foreign to the United States, that the 
offender had knowledge of such person's alienage. 

SEC. 8. That any person, including the master, agent, owner, 
or consignee of any vessel, who shall bring into or land in the 
United States, by vessel or otherwise, or shall attempt, by himself 
or through another, to bring into or land in the United States, 
by vessel or otherwise, or shall conceal or harbor, or attempt to 
conceal or harbor, or assist or abet another to conceal or harbor 
in any place, including any building, vessel, railway car, convey- 
ance, or vehicle, any alien not duly admitted by an immigrant 
inspector or not lawfully entitled to enter or to reside within the 
United States under the terms of this Act, shall be deemed guilty 
of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished 
by a fine not exceeding $2000 and by imprisonment for a term not 
exceeding five years, for each and every alien so landed or brought 
in or attempted to be landed or brought in. 

SEC. 9. That it shall be unlawful for any person, including 
any transportation company other than railway lines entering the 
United States from foreign contiguous territory, or the owner, 


master, agent, or consignee of any vessel to bring to the United 
States either from a foreign country or any insular possession 
of the United States any alien afflicted with idiocy, insanity, im- 
becility, feeble-mindedness, epilepsy, constitutional psychopathic 
inferiority, chronic alcoholism, tuberculosis in any form, or a 
loathsome or dangerous contagious disease, and if it shall appear 
to the satisfaction of the Secretary of Labor that any alien so 
brought to the United States was afflicted with any of the said 
diseases or disabilities at the time of foreign embarkation, and 
that the existence of such disease or disability might have been 
detected by means of a competent medical examination at such 
time, such person or transportation company, or the master, 
agent, owner, or consignee of any such vessel shall pay to the 
collector of customs of the customs district in which the port 
of arrival is located the sum of $200, a*d in addition a sum 
equal to that paid by such alien for his transportation from the 
initial point of departure, indicated in his ticket, to the port of 
arrival for each and every violation of the provisions of this 
section, such latter sum to be delivered by the collector of customs 
to the alien on whose account assessed .fit shall also be unlawful k 
for any such person to bring to any pofT"of the United States 
any alien afflicted with any mental defect other than those 
above specifically named, or physical defect of a nature which 
may affect his ability to earn a living, as contemplated in sec- 
tion three of this Act, and if it shall appear to the satisfaction of 
the Secretary of Labor that any alien so brought to the United 
States was so afflicted at the time of foreign embarkation, and 
that the existence of such mental or physical defect might have 
been detected by means of a competent medical examination at 
such time, such person shall pay to the collector of customs of the 
customs district in which the port of arrival is located the sum 
of $25, and in addition a sum equal to that paid by such alien for 
his transportation from the initial point of departure, indicated 
in his ticket, to the port of arrival, for each and every violation 
of this provision, such latter sum to be deli veredj^y the collector 
of customs to the alien for whose account assessecOlt shall also 
be unlawful for any such person to bring to any port of the 
United States any alien who is excluded by the provisions of 
section three of this Act because unable to read, or who is 


excluded by the terms of section three of this Act as a native of 
that portion of the Continent of Asia and the islands adjacent 
thereto described in said section, and if it shall appear to the 
satisfaction of the Secretary of Labor that these disabilities might 
have been detected by the exercise of reasonable precaution 
prior to the departure of such aliens from a foreign port, such 
person shall pay to the collector of customs of the customs district 
in which the port of arrival is located the sum of $200, and in 
addition a sum equal to that paid by such alien for his trans- 
portation from the initial point of departure, indicated in his 
ticket, to the port of arrival, for each and every violation of 
this provision, such latter sum to be delivered by the collector 
of customs to the alien on whose account assessed. And no 
vessel shall be gran ted clearance papers pending the determination 
of the question of the liability to the payment of such fines, or 
while the fines remain unpaid, nor shall such fines be remitted 
or refunded : Provided, That clearance may be granted prior to 
the determination of such questions upon the deposit of a sum 
sufficient to cover such fines : Provided further, That nothing 
contained in this section shall be construed to subject trans- 
portation companies to a fine for bringing to ports of the United 
States aliens who are by any of the provisos or exceptions to 
section three hereof exempted from the excluding provisions 
of said section. 

SEC. 10. That it shall be the duty of every person, including 
owners, officers, and agents of vessels or transportation lines, or 
international bridges or toll roads, other than railway lines 
which may enter into a contract as provided in section twenty- 
three of this Act, bringing an alien to, or providing a means for 
an alien to come to, any seaport or land border port of the United 
States, to prevent the landing of such alien in the United States at 
any time or place other than as designated by the immigration 
officers, and the failure of any such person, owner, officer, or 
agent to comply with the foregoing requirements shall be deemed 
a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by 
a fine in each case of not less than $200 nor more than $1000, 
or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or by 
both such fine and imprisonment; or, if in the opinion of the 
Secretary of Labor it is impracticable or inconvenient to prosecute 


the person, owner, master, officer, or agent of any such vessel, a 
penalty of $1000 shall be a lien upon the vessel whose owner, 
master, officer, or agent violates the provisions of this section, 
and such vessel shall be libeled therefor in the appropriate 
United States court. 

SEC. ii. That for the purpose of determining whether aliens 
arriving at ports of the United States belong to any of the classes 
excluded by this Act, either by reason of being afflicted with 
any of he diseases or mental or physical defects or disabilities 
mentioned in section three hereof, or otherwise, or whenever 
the Secretary of Labor has received information showing that 
any aliens are coming from a country or have embarked at a 
place where any of said diseases are prevalent or epidemic, the 
Commissioner- General of Immigration, with the approval of the 
Secretary of Labor, may direct that such aliens shall be detained 
on board the vessel bringing them, or in a United States immi- 
gration station at the expense of such vessel, as circumstances 
may require or justify, a sufficient time to enable the immigra- 
tion officers and medical officers stationed at such ports to subject 
aliens to an observation and examination sufficient to determine 
whether or not they belong to the said excluded classes by reason 
of being afflicted in the manner indicated : Provided, That, 
with a view to avoid undue delay in landing passengers or inter- 
ference with commerce, the Commissioner-General of Immigration 
may, with the approval of the Secretary of Labor, issue such 
regulations, not inconsistent with law, as may be deemed neces- 
sary to effect the purposes of this section : Provided further, 
That it shall be the duty of immigrant inspectors to report to 
the Commissioner- General of Immigration the condition of all 
vessels bringing aliens to United States ports. 

SEC. na. That the Secretary of Labor is hereby authorized 
and directed to enter into negotiations, through the Department 
of State, with countries vessels of which bring aliens to the United 
States, with a view to detailing inspectors and matrons of the 
United States Immigration Service for duty on vessels carrying 
immigrant or emigrant passengers between foreign ports and 
ports of the United States. When such inspectors and matrons 
are detailed for said duty they shall remain in that part of the 
vessel where immigrant passengers are carried ; and it shall be 


their duty to observe such passengers during the voyage and 
report to the immigration authorities in charge of the port of 
landing any information of value in determining the admissibility 
of such passengers that may have become known to them during 
the voyage. 

SEC. 12. That upon the arrival of any alien by water at any 
port within the United States on the North American Continent 
from a foreign port or a port of the Philippine Islands, Guam, 
Porto Rico, or Hawaii, or at any port of the said insular posses- 
sions from any foreign port, from a port in the United States on 
the North American Continent, or from a port of another insular 
possession of the United States, it shall be the duty of the master 
or commanding officer, owners, or consignees of the steamer, sail- 
ing, or other vessel having said alien on board to deliver to the 
immigration officers at the port of arrival typewritten or printed 
lists or manifests made at the time and place of embarkation of 
such alien on board such steamer or vessel, which shall, in answer 
to questions at the top of said list, contain full and accurate in- 
formation as to each alien as follows : Full name, age, and sex ; 
whether married or single; calling or occupation; personal 
description (including height, complexion, color of hair and eyes, 
and marks of identification) ; whether able to read or write ; 
nationality ; country of birth ; race ; country of last permanent 
residence ; name and address of the nearest relative in the country 
from which the alien came ; seaport for landing in the United 
States; final destination, if any, beyond the port of landing; 
whether having a ticket through to such final destination; by 
whom passage was paid ; whether in possession of $50, and if 
less, how much ; whether going to join a relative or friend, and, 
if so, what relative or friend, and his or her name and complete 
address; whether ever before in the United States, and if so, 
when and where; whether ever in prison or almshouse or an 
institution or hospital for the care and treatment of the insane ; 
whether ever supported by charity; whether a polygamist; 
whether an anarchist; whether a person who believes in or 
advocates the overthrow by force or violence of the Government 
of the United States or of all forms of law, or who disbelieves in 
or is opposed to organized government, or who advocates the 
assassination of public officials, or who advocates or teaches the 


unlawful destruction of property, or is a member of or affiliated 
with any organization entertaining and teaching disbelief in or 
opposition to organized government, or which teaches the unlaw- 
ful destruction of property, or who advocates or teaches the duty, 
necessity, or propriety of the unlawful assaulting or killing of any 
officer or officers, either of specific individuals or of officers 
generally, of the Government of the United States or of any other 
organized government because of his or their official character; 
whether coming by reason of any offer, solicitation, promise, or 
agreement, express or implied, to perform labor in the United 
States; the alien's condition of health, mental and physical; 
whether deformed or crippled, and if so, for how long and from 
what cause; whether coming with the intent to return to the 
country whence such alien comes after temporarily engaging in 
laboring pursuits in the United States ; and such other items of 
information as will aid in determining whether any such alien 
belongs to any of the excluded classes enumerated in section three 
hereof ; and such master or commanding officer, owners, or con- 
signees shall also furnish information in relation to the sex, age, 
class of travel, and the foreign port of embarkation of arriving 
passengers who are United States citizens. That it shall further 
be the duty of the master or commanding officer of every vessel 
taking passengers from any port of the United States on the 
North American Continent to a foreign port or a port of the 
Philippine Islands, Guam, Porto Rico, or Hawaii, or from any 
port of the said insular possessions to any foreign port, to a 
port of the United States on the North American Continent, or 
to a port of another insular possession of the United States to 
file with the immigration officials before departure a list which 
shall contain full and accurate information in relation to the 
following matters regarding all alien passengers, and all citizens 
of the United States or insular possessions of the United States 
departing with the stated intent to reside permanently in a foreign 
country, taken on board : Name, age, and sex ; whether married 
or single ; calling or occupation ; whether able to read or write ; 
nationality ; country of birth ; country of which citizen or 
subject; race; last permanent residence in the United States 
or insular possession thereof; if a citizen of the United States 
or of the insular possessions thereof, whether native born or 


naturalized; if native born, the place and date of birth, or if 
naturalized the city or town in which naturalization has been 
had ; intended future permanent residence ; and time and port 
of last arrival in the United States, or insular possessions thereof ; 
and such master or commanding officer shall also furnish in- 
formation in relation to the sex, age, class of travel, and port 
of debarkation of the United States citizens departing who do 
not intend to reside permanently in a foreign country, and no 
master of any such vessel shall be granted clearance papers for 
his vessel until he has deposited such list or lists with the immi- 
gration officials at the port of departure and made oath that they 
are full and complete as to the name and other information 
herein required concerning each person of the classes specified 
taken on board his vessel ; and any neglect or omission to comply 
with the requirements of this section shall be punishable as 
provided in section fourteen of this Act : Provided, That in the 
case of vessels making regular trips to ports of the United 
States the Commissioner-General of Immigration, with the 
approval of the Secretary of Labor, may, when expedient, arrange 
for the delivery of such lists of outgoing aliens at a later date : 
Provided further, That it shall be the duty of immigration officials 
to record the following information regarding every resident alien 
and citizen leaving the United States by way of the Canadian or 
Mexican borders for permanent residence in a foreign country : 
Name, age, and sex; whether married or single; calling or 
occupation ; whether able to read or write ; nationality ; country 
of birth ; country of which citizen or subject ; race ; last perma- 
nent residence in the United States ; intended future permanent 
residence ; and time and port of last arrival in the United States ; 
and if a United States citizen, whether native born or naturalized. 
SEC. 13. That all aliens arriving by water at the ports of the 
United States shall be listed in convenient groups, the names of 
those coming from the same locality to be assembled so far as prac- 
ticable, and no one list or manifest shall contain more than thirty 
names. To each alien or head of a family shall be given a ticket on 
which shall be written his name, a number or letter designating the 
list in which his name, and other items of information required by 
this Act, are contained, and his number on said list, for con- 
venience of identification on arrival. Each list or manifest shall be 


verified by the signature and the oath or affirmation t)f the master 
or commanding officer, or the first or second below him in 
command, taken before an immigration officer at the port of 
arrival, to the effect that he has caused the surgeon of said vessel 
sailing therewith to make a physical and mental examination of 
each of said aliens, and that from the report of said surgeon and 
from his own investigation he believes that no one of said aliens 
is of any of the classes excluded from admission into the United 
States by section three of this Act, and that also according to the 
best of his knowledge and belief the information in said lists or 
manifests concerning each of said aliens named therein is correct 
and true in every respect. That the surgeon of said vessel 
sailing therewith shall also sign each of said lists or manifests 
and make oath or affirmation in like manner before an immigra- 
tion officer at the port of arrival, stating his professional expe- 
rience and qualifications as a physician and surgeon, and that 
he has made a personal examination of each of the said aliens 
named therein, and that the said list or manifest, according to the 
best of his knowledge and belief, is full, correct, and true in all 
particulars relative to the mental and, physical condition of said 
aliens. If no surgeon sails with any vessel bringing aliens, the 
mental and physical examinations and the verifications of the 
lists or manifests shall be made by some competent surgeon 
employed by the owners of the said vessels, and the manifests 
shall be verified by such surgeon before a United States consular 
officer or other officer authorized to administer oaths : Provided, 
That if any changes in the condition of such aliens occur or 
develop during the voyage of the vessel on which they are 
traveling, such changes shall be noted on the manifest before 
the verification thereof. 

SEC. 14. That it shall be unlawful for the master or command- 
ing officer of any vessel bringing aliens into or carrying aliens 
out of the United States to refuse or fail to deliver to the immi- 
gration officials the accurate and full manifests or statements or 
information regarding all aliens on board or taken on board such 
vessel required by this Act, and if it shall appear to the satis- 
faction of the Secretary of Labor that there has been such a 
refusal or failure, or that the lists delivered are not accurate and 
full, such master or commanding officer shall pay to the collector 


of customs at the port of arrival or departure the sum of $10 for 
each alien concerning whom such accurate and full manifest or 
statement or information is not furnished, or concerning whom 
the manifest or statement or information is not prepared and 
sworn to as prescribed by this Act. No vessel shall be granted 
clearance pending the determination of the question of the 
liability to the payment of such fine, or while it remains unpaid, 
nor shall such fine be remitted or refunded: Provided, That 
clearance may be granted prior to the determination of such 
question upon the deposit with the collector of customs of a sum 
sufficient to cover such fine. 

SEC. 15. That upon the arrival at a port of the United States 
of any vessel bringing aliens it shall be the duty of the proper 
immigration officials to go or to send competent assistants to the 
vessel and there inspect all such aliens, or said immigration 
officials may order a temporary removal of such aliens for 
examination at a designated time and place, but such temporary 
removal shall not be considered a landing, nor shall it relieve 
vessels, the transportation lines, masters, agents, owners, or 
consignees of the vessel upon which said aliens are brought to 
any port of the United States from any of the obligations which, 
in case such aliens remain on board, would under the provisions 
of this Act bind the said vessels, transportation lines, masters, 
agents, owners, or consignees : Provided, That where removal is 
made to premises owned or controlled by the United States, said 
vessels, transportation lines, masters, agents, owners, or con- 
signees, and each of them, shall, so long as detention there lasts, 
be relieved of responsibility for the safekeeping of such aliens. 
Whenever a temporary removal of aliens is made the vessels or 
transportation lines which brought them and the masters, 
owners, agents, and consignees of the vessel upon which they 
arrive shall pay all expenses of such removal and all expenses 
arising during subsequent detention, pending decision on the 
aliens' eligibility to enter the United States and until they are 
either allowed to land or returned to the care of the line or to the 
vessel which brought them, such expenses to include those of 
maintenance, medical treatment in hospital or elsewhere, burial 
in the event of death, and transfer to the vessel in the event of 
deportation, excepting only where they arise under the terms of 


any of the provisos of section eighteen hereof. Any refusal or 
failure to comply with the provisions hereof shall be punished 
in the manner specified in section eighteen of this Act. 
. SEC. 16. That the physical and mental examination of all 
arriving aliens shall be made by medical officers of the United 
States Public Health Service who shall have had at least two 
years' experience in the practice of their profession since receiving 
the degree of doctor of medicine, and who shall conduct all 
medical examinations and shall certify, for the information of the 
immigration officers and the boards of special inquiry hereinafter 
provided for, any and all physical and mental defects or diseases 
observed by said medical officers in any such alien ; or, should 
medical officers of the United States Public Health Service be not 
available, civil surgeons of not less than four years' professional 
experience may be employed in such emergency for such service 
upon such terms as may be prescribed by the Commissioner- 
General of Immigration, under the direction or with the approval 
of the Secretary of Labor. All aliens arriving at ports of the 
United States shall be examined by not less than two such 
medical officers at the discretion of the Secretary of Labor, and 
under such administrative regulations as he may prescribe and 
under medical regulations prepared by the Surgeon- General of the 
United States Public Health Service. Medical officers of the 
United States Public Health Service who have had especial 
training in the diagnosis of insanity and mental defects shall be 
detailed for duty or employed at all ports of entry designated 
by the Secretary of Labor, and such medical officers shall be 
provided with suitable facilities for the detention and examination 
of all arriving aliens in whom insanity or mental defect is sus- 
pected, and the services of interpreters shall be provided for 
such examination. Any alien certified for insanity or mental 
defect may appeal to the board of medical officers of the United 
States Public Health Service, which shall be convened by the 
Surgeon-General of the United States Public Health Service, and 
said alien may introduce before such board one expert medical 
witness at his own cost and expense. That the inspection, other 
than the physical and mental examination, of aliens, including 
those seeking admission or readmission to or the privilege of 
passing through or residing in the United States, and the 


examination of aliens arrested within the United States under 
this Act, shall be conducted by immigrant inspectors, except as 
hereinafter provided in regard to boards of special inquiry. All 
aliens arriving at ports of the United States shall be examined 
by at least two immigrant inspectors at the discretion of the Sec- 
retary of Labor and under such regulations as he may prescribe. 
Immigrant inspectors are hereby authorized and empowered to 
board and search for aliens any vessel, railway car, or any other 
conveyance, or vehicle in which they believe aliens are being 
brought into the United States. Said inspectors shall have power 
to administer oaths and to take and consider evidence touching 
the right of any alien to enter, reenter, pass through, or reside in 
the United States, and, where such action may be necessary, to 
make a written record of such evidence ; and any person to whom 
such an oath has been administered, under the provisions of this 
Act, who shall knowingly or willfully give false evidence or swear 
to any false statement in any way affecting or in relation to the 
right of any alien to admission, or readmission to, or to pass 
through, or to reside in the United States shall be deemed guilty 
of perjury and be punished as provided by section one hundred 
and twenty-five of the Act approved March fourth, nineteen 
hundred and nine, entitled " An Act to codify, revise, and amend 
the penal laws of the United States." All aliens coming to the 
United States shall be required to state under oath the purposes 
for which they come, the length of time they intend to remain in 
the United States, whether or not they intend to abide in the 
United States permanently and become citizens thereof, and 
such other items of information regarding themselves as will aid 
the immigration officials in determining whether they belong to 
any of the excluded classes enumerated in section three hereof. 
Any commissioner of immigration or inspector in charge shall 
also have power to require by subpoena the attendance and tes- 
timony of witnesses before said inspectors and the production of 
books, papers, and documents touching the right of any alien 
to enter, reenter, reside in, or pass through the United States, 
and to that end may invoke the aid of any court of the United 
States ; and any district court within the jurisdiction of which 
investigations are being conducted by an immigrant inspector 
may, in the event of neglect or refusal to respond to a subpoena 


issued by any commissioner of immigration or inspector in 
charge or refusal to testify before said immigrant inspector, issue 
an order requiring such person to appear before said immigrant 
inspector, produce books, papers, and documents if demanded, 
and testify ; and any failure to obey such order of the court may 
be punished by the court as a contempt thereof. That any 
person, including employees, officials, or agents of transportation 
companies, who shall assault, resist, prevent, impede, or inter- 
fere with any immigration official or employee in the performance 
of his duty under this Act shall be deemed guilty of a misde- 
meanor, and on conviction thereof shall be punished by imprison- 
ment for a term of not more than one year, or by a fine of not 
more than $2000, or both ; and any person who shall use any 
deadly or dangerous weapon in resisting any immigration official 
or employee in the performance of his duty shall be deemed guilty 
of a felony and shall, on conviction thereof, be punished by im- 
prisonment for not more than ten years. Every alien who may 
not appear to the examining immigrant inspector at the port of 
arrival to be clearly and beyond a doubt entitled to land shall be 
detained for examination in relation thereto by a board of special 
inquiry. In the event of rejection by the board of special inquiry, 
in all cases where an appeal to the Secretary of Labor is permitted 
by this Act, the alien shall be so informed and shall have the 
right to be represented by counsel or other adviser on such 
appeal. The decision of an immigrant inspector, if favorable 
to the admission of any alien, shall be subject to challenge by 
any other immigrant inspector, and such challenge shall operate 
to take the alien whose right to land is so challenged before a 
board of special inquiry for its investigation. 

SEC. 17. That boards of special inquiry shall be appointed 
by the commissioner of immigration or inspector in charge at 
the various ports of arrival as may be necessary for the prompt 
determination of all cases of immigrants detained at such ports 
under the provisions of the law. Each board shall consist of three 
members, who shall be selected from such of the immigrant 
officials in the service as the Commissioner General of Immigra- 
tion, with the approval of the Secretary of Labor, shall from time 
to time designate as qualified to serve on such boards. When in 
the opinion of the Secretary of Labor the maintenance of a 


permanent board of special inquiry for service at any sea or land 
border port is not warranted, regularly constituted boards may 
be detailed from other stations for temporary service at such port, 
or, if that be impracticable, the Secretary of Labor shall authorize 
the creation of boards of special inquiry by the immigration 
officials in charge. of such ports, and shall determine what Gov- 
ernment officials or other persons shall be eligible for service on 
such boards. Such boards shall have authority to determine 
whether an alien who has been duly held shall be allowed to land 
or shall be deported. All hearings before such boards shall be 
separate and apart from the public, but the immigrant may have 
one friend or relative present under such regulations as may be 
prescribed by the Secretary of Labor. Such boards shall keep a 
complete permanent record of their proceedings and of all such 
testimony as may be produced before them ; and the decisions of 
any two members of the board shall prevail, but either the alien 
or any dissenting member of the said board may appeal through 
the commissioner of immigration at the port of arrival and the 
Commissioner-General of Immigration to the Secretary of Labor, 
and the taking of such appeal shall operate to stay any action in 
regard to the final disposal of any alien whose case is so appealed 
until the receipt by the commissioner of immigration at the port 
of arrival of such decision which shall be rendered solely upon the 
evidence adduced before the board of special inquiry. In every 
case where an alien is excluded from admission into the United 
States, under any law or treaty now existing or hereafter 
made, the decision of a board of special inquiry adverse to the 
admission of such alien shall be final, unless reversed on appeal 
to the Secretary of Labor : Provided, That the decision of a 
board of special inquiry shall be based upon the certificate of the 
examining medical officer and, except as provided in section 
twenty-one hereof, shall be final as to the rejection of aliens 
affected with tuberculosis in any form or with a loathsome or 
dangerous contagious disease, or with any mental or physical 
disability which would bring such aliens within any of the classes 
excluded from admission to the United States under section 
three of this Act. 

SEC. 1 8. That all aliens brought to this country in violation 
of law shall be immediately sent back, in accommodations of the 


same class in which they arrived, to the country whence they 
respectively came, on the vessels bringing them, unless in the 
opinion of the Secretary of Labor immediate deportation is not 
practicable or proper. The cost of their maintenance while on 
land, as well as the expense of the return of such aliens, shall be 
borne by the owner or owners of the vessels on which they re- 
spectively came. That it shall be unlawful for any master, purser, 
person in charge, agent, owner, or consignee of any such vessel 
to refuse to receive back on board thereof, or on board of any 
other vessel owned or operated by the same interests, such aliens ; 
or to fail to detain them thereon ; or to refuse or fail to return 
them in the manner aforesaid to the foreign port from which 
they came ; or to fail to pay the cost of their maintenance while 
on land ; or to make any charge for the return of any such alien, 
or to take any security for the payment of such charge ; or to 
take any consideration to be returned in case the alien is landed ; 
or knowingly to bring to the United States at any time within 
one year from the date of deportation any alien rejected or 
arrested and deported under any provision of this Act, unless 
prior to reembarkation the Secretary of Labor has consented 
that such alien shall reapply for admission, as required by section 
three hereof; and if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the 
Secretary of Labor that such master, purser, person in charge, 
agent, owner, or consignee has violated any of the foregoing 
provisions, or any of the provisions of section fifteen hereof, 
such master, purser, person in charge, agent, owner, or consignee 
shall pay to the collector of customs of the district in which the 
port of arrival is located, or in which any vessel of the line may 
be found, the sum of $300 for each and every violation of any 
provision of said sections; and no vessel shall have clearance 
from any port of the United States while any such fine is unpaid, 
nor shall such fine be remitted or refunded : Provided, That 
clearance may be granted prior to the determination of such 
question upon the deposit with the collector of customs of a sum 
sufficient to cover such fine. If the vessel by which any alien 
ordered deported came has left the United States and it is im- 
practicable for any reason to deport the alien within a reasonable 
time by another vessel owned by the same interests, the cost of 
deportation may be paid by the Government and recovered by 


civil suit from any agent, owner, or consignee of the vessel : 
Provided further, That the Commissioner- General of Immigration, 
with the approval of the Secretary of Labor, may suspend, upon 
conditions to be prescribed by the Commissioner-General of 
Immigration, the deportation of any aliens found to have come 
in violation of any provision of this Act if, in his judgment, the 
testimony of such alien is necessary on behalf of the United States 
Government in the prosecution of offenders against any provision 
of this Act or other laws of the United States ; and the cost of 
maintenance of any person so detained resulting from such sus- 
pension of deportation, and a witness fee in the sum of $i per 
day for each day such person is so detained, may be paid from 
the appropriation for the enforcement of this Act, or such alien 
may be released under bond, in the penalty of not less than $500, 
with security approved by the Secretary of Labor, conditioned 
that such alien shall be produced when required as a witness 
and for deportation. No alien certified, as provided in section 
sixteen of this Act, to be suffering from tuberculosis in any form, 
or from a loathsome or dangerous contagious disease other than 
one of quarantinable nature, shall be permitted to land for medical 
treatment thereof in any hospital in the United States, unless 
the Secretary of Labor is satisfied that to refuse treatment would 
be inhumane or cause unusual hardship or suffering, in which 
case the alien shall be treated in the hospital under the supervision 
of the immigration officials at the expense of the vessel transport- 
ing him : Provided further, That upon the certificate of an examin- 
ing medical officer to the effect that the health or safety of an 
insane alien would be unduly imperiled by immediate deportation, 
such alien may, at the expense of the appropriation for the 
enforcement of this Act, be held for treatment until such time 
as such alien may, in the opinion of such medical officer, be 
safely deported : Provided further, That upon the certificate of 
an examining medical officer to the effect that a rejected alien is 
helpless from sickness, mental or physical disability, or infancy, 
if such alien is accompanied by another alien whose protection or 
guardianship is required by such rejected alien, such accompany- 
ing alien may also be excluded, and the master, agent, owner, 
or consignee of the vessel in which such alien and accompanying 
alien are brought shall be required to return said alien and 


accompanying alien in the same manner as vessels are required to 
return other rejected aliens. 

SEC. 19. That at any time within five years after entry, any 
alien who at the time of entry was a member of one or more of 
the classes excluded by law ; any alien who shall have entered or 
who shall be found in the United States in violation of this Act, 
or in violation of any other law of the United States ; any alien 
who at any time after entry shall be found advocating or teaching 
the unlawful destruction of property, or advocating or teaching 
anarchy, or the overthrow by force or violence of the Government 
of the United States or of all forms of law or the assassination 
of public officials ; any alien who within five years after entry 
becomes a public charge from causes not affirmatively shown to 
have arisen subsequent to landing; except as hereinafter pro- 
vided, any alien who is hereafter sentenced to imprisonment for 
a term of one year or more because of conviction in this country 
of a crime involving moral turpitude, committed within five years 
after the entry of the alien to the United States, or who is here- 
after sentenced more than once to such a term of imprisonment 
because of conviction in this country of any crime involving moral 
turpitude, committed at any time after entry; any alien who 
shall be found an inmate of or connected with the management 
of a house of prostitution or practicing prostitution after such 
alien shall have entered the United States, or who shall receive, 
share in, or derive benefit from any part of the earnings of any 
prostitute ; any alien who manages or is employed by, in, or in 
connection with any house of prostitution or music or dance hall 
or other place of amusement or resort habitually frequented by 
prostitutes, or where prostitutes gather, or who in any way assists 
any prostitute or protects or promises to protect from arrest 
any prostitute ; any alien who shall import or attempt to import 
any person for the purpose of prostitution or for any other 
immoral purpose ; any alien who, after being excluded and de- 
ported or arrested and deported as a prostitute, or as a procurer, 
or as having been connected with the Business of prostitution or 
importation for prostitution or other immoral purposes in any 
of the ways hereinbefore specified, shall return to and enter the 
United States ; any alien convicted and imprisoned for a violation 
of any of the provisions of section four hereof ; any alien who was 


convicted, or who admits the commission, prior to entry, of a 
felony or other crime or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude ; 
at any time within three years after entry, any alien who shall 
have entered the United States by water at any time or place other 
than as designated by immigration officials, or by land at any 
place other than one designated as a port of entry for aliens by 
the Commissioner-General of Immigration, or at any time not 
designated by immigration officials, or who enters without inspec- 
tion, shall, upon the warrant of the Secretary of Labor, be taken 
into custody and deported : Provided, That the marriage to an 
American citizen of a female of the sexually immoral classes the 
exclusion or deportation of which is prescribed by this Act shall 
not invest such female with United States citizenship if the 
marriage of such alien female shall be solemnized after her arrest 
or after the commission of acts which make her liable to deporta- 
tion under this Act : Provided further, That the provision of 
this section respecting the deportation of aliens convicted of a 
crime involving moral turpitude shall not apply to one who has 
been pardoned, nor shall such deportation be made or directed 
if the court, or judge thereof, sentencing such alien for such 
crime shall, at the time of imposing judgment or passing sen- 
tence or within thirty days thereafter, due notice having first 
been given to representatives of the State, make a recommen- 
dation to the Secretary of Labor that such alien shall not be 
deported in pursuance of this Act ; nor shall any alien convicted 
as aforesaid be deported until after the termination of his im- 
prisonment : Provided further, That the provisions of this section, 
with the exceptions hereinbefore noted, shall be applicable to the 
classes of aliens therein mentioned irrespective of the time of their 
entry into the United States : Provided further, That the provi- 
sions of this section shall also apply to the cases of aliens who 
come to the mainland of the United States from the insular 
possessions thereof : Provided further, That any person who 
shall be arrested under the provisions of this section, on the 
ground that he has entered or been found in the United States in 
violation of any other law thereof which imposes on such person 
the burden of proving his right to enter or remain, and who shall 
fail to establish the existence of the right claimed, shall be 
deported to the place specified in such other law. In every case 


where any person is ordered deported from the United States 
under the provisions of this Act, or of any law or treaty, the 
decision of the Secretary of Labor shall be final. 

SEC. 20. That the deportation of aliens provided for in this 
Act shall, at the option of the Secretary of Labor, be to the 
country whence they came or to the foreign port at which such 
aliens embarked for the United States ; or, if such embarkation 
was for foreign contiguous territory, to the foreign port at which 
they embarked for such territory; or, if such aliens entered 
foreign contiguous territory from the United States and later 
entered the United States, or if such aliens are held by the 
country from which they entered the United States not to be 
subjects or citizens of such country, and such country refuses to 
permit their reentry, or imposes any condition upon permitting 
reentry, then to the country of which such aliens are subjects or 
citizens, or to the country in which they resided prior to entering 
the country from which they entered the United States. If 
deportation proceedings are instituted at any time within five 
years after the entry of the alien, such deportation, including one- 
half of the entire cost of removal to the port of deportation, shall 
be at the expense of the contractor, procurer, or other person by 
whom the alien was unlawfully induced to enter the United 
States, or, if that cannot be done, then the cost of removal to the 
port of deportation shall be at the expense of the appropriation 
for the enforcement of this Act, and the deportation from such 
port shall be at the expense of the owner or owners of such vessels 
or transportation line by which such aliens respectively came, or 
if that is not practicable, at the expense of the appropriation for 
the enforcement of this Act. If deportation proceedings are 
instituted later than five years after the entry of the alien, or, 
if the deportation is made by reason of causes arising subsequent 
to entry, the cost thereof shall be payable from the appropriation 
for the enforcement of this Act. A failure or refusal on the part 
of the masters, agents, owners, or consignees of vessels to comply 
with the order of the Secretary of Labor to take on board, guard 
safely, and transport to the destination specified any alien 
ordered to be deported under the provisions of this Act shall be 
punished by the imposition of the penalties prescribed in section 
eighteen of this Act : Provided, That when in the opinion of the 


Secretary of Labor the mental or physical condition of such alien is 
such as to require personal care and attendance, the said Secretary 
shall when necessary employ a suitable person for that purpose, 
who shall accompany such alien to his or her final destination, 
and the expense incident to such service shall be defrayed in the 
same manner as the expense of deporting the accompanied alien 
is defrayed. Pending the final disposal of the case of any alien so 
taken into custody, he may be released under a bond in the 
penalty of npt less than $500 with security approved by the 
Secretary of Labor, conditioned that such alien shall be produced 
when required for a hearing or hearings in regard to the charge 
upon which he has been taken into custody, and for deportation 
if he shall be found to be unlawfully within the United States. 

SEC. 21. That any alien liable to be excluded because likely to 
become a public charge or because of physical disability other 
than tuberculosis in any form or a loathsome or dangerous con- 
tagious disease may, if otherwise admissible, nevertheless be 
admitted in the discretion of the Secretary of Labor upon the 
giving of a suitable and proper bond or undertaking, approved by 
said Secretary, in such amount and containing such conditions 
as he may prescribe, to the United States and to all States, 
Territories, counties, towns, municipalities, and districts thereof, 
holding the United States and all States, Territories, counties, 
towns, municipalities, and districts thereof harmless against 
such alien becoming a public charge. In lieu of such bond, such 
alien may deposit in cash with the Secretary of Labor such amount 
as the Secretary of Labor may require, which amount shall be 
deposited by said Secretary in the United States Postal Savings 
Bank, a receipt therefor to be given the person furnishing said 
sum, showing the fact and object of its receipt and such other 
information as said Secretary may deem advisable. All accru- 
ing interest on said deposit during the time same shall be held 
in the United States Postal Savings Bank shall be paid to the 
person furnishing the sum for deposit. In the event of such alien 
becoming a public charge, the Secretary of Labor shall dispose of 
said deposit in the same manner as if same had been collected 
under a bond as provided in this section. In the event of the 
permanent departure from the United States, the naturalization, 
or the death of such alien, the said sum shall be returned to the 


person by whom furnished, or to his legal representatives. The 
admission of such alien shall be a consideration for the giving of 
such bond, undertaking, or cash deposit. Suit may be brought 
thereon in the name and by the proper law officers either of the 
United States Government or of any State, Territory, District, 
county, town, or municipality in which such alien becomes a 
public charge. 

SEC. 22. That whenever an alien shall have been naturalized 
or shall have taken up his permanent residence in this country, 
and thereafter shall send for his wife or minor children to join 
him, and said wife or any of said minor children shall be found 
to be affected with any contagious disorder, such wife or minor 
children shall be held, under such regulations as the Secretary 
of Labor shall prescribe, until it shall be determined whether the 
disorder will be easily curable or whether they can be permitted 
to land without danger to other persons ; and they shall not be 
either admitted or deported until such facts have been ascer- 
tained ; and if it shall be determined that the disorder is easily 
curable and the husband or father or other responsible person is 
willing to bear the expense of the treatment, they may be accorded 
treatment in hospital until cured and then be admitted, or if it 
shall be determined that they can be permitted to land without 
danger to other persons, they may, if otherwise admissible, 
thereupon be admitted : Provided, That if the person sending for 
wife or minor children is naturalized, a wife to whom married 
or a minor child born subsequent to such husband or father's 
naturalization shall be admitted without detention for treatment 
in hospital, and with respect to a wife to whom married or a minor 
child born prior to such husband or father's naturalization the 
provisions of this section shall be observed, even though such 
person is unable to pay the expense of treatment, in which case 
the expense shall be paid from the appropriation for the enforce- 
ment of this Act. 

SEC. 23. That the Commissioner- General of Immigration shall 
perform all his duties under the direction of the Secretary of 
Labor. Under such direction he shall have charge of the adminis- 
tration of all laws relating to the immigration of aliens into the 
United States, and shall have the control, direction, and super- 
vision of all officers, clerks, and employees appointed thereunder ; 


he shall establish such rules and regulations, prescribe such forms 
of bond, reports, entries, and other papers, and shall issue from 
time to time such instructions not inconsistent with law, as he 
shall deem best calculated for carrying out the provisions of this 
Act and for protecting the United States and aliens migrating 
thereto from fraud and loss, and shall have authority to enter 
into contract for the support and relief of such aliens as may fall 
into distress or need public aid, and to remove to their native 
country, at any time within three years after entry, at the ex- 
pense of the appropriations for the enforcement of this Act, such 
as fall into distress or need public aid from causes arising sub- 
sequent to their entry and are desirous of being so removed; 
he shall prescribe rules for the entry and inspection of aliens 
coming to the United States from or through Canada and Mexico, 
so as not unnecessarily to delay, impede, or annoy persons in 
ordinary travel between the United States and said countries, 
and shall have power to enter into contracts with transportation 
lines for the said purpose. It shall be the duty of the Com- 
missioner-General of Immigration to detail officers of the Immi- 
gration Service from time to time as may be necessary, in his 
judgment, to secure information as to the number of aliens de- 
tained in the penal, reformatory, and charitable institutions 
(public and private) of the several States and Territories, the 
District of Columbia, and other territory of the United States, 
and to inform the officers of such institutions of the provisions 
of law in relation to the deportation of aliens who have become 
public charges. He may, with the approval of the Secretary of 
Labor, whenever in his judgment such action may be necessary 
to accomplish the purposes of this Act, detail immigration officers 
for service in foreign countries ; and, upon his request, approved 
by the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of the Treasury may 
detail medical officers of the United States Public Health Service 
for the performance of duties in foreign countries in connection 
with the enforcement of this Act. The duties of commissioners of 
immigration and other immigration officials in charge of districts, 
ports, or stations shall be of an administrative character, to be 
prescribed in detail by regulations prepared under the direction 
or with the approval of the Secretary of Labor : Provided, That 
no person, company, or transportation line engaged in carrying 


alien passengers for hire from Canada or Mexico to the United 
States, whether by land or water, shall be allowed to land any 
such passengers in the United States without providing suitable 
and approved landing stations, conveniently located, at the point 
or points of entry. The Commissioner- General of Immigration 
is hereby authorized and empowered to prescribe the conditions, 
not inconsistent with law, under which the above-mentioned 
landing stations shall be deemed suitable within the meaning of 
this section. Any person, company, or transportation line landing 
an alien passenger in the United States without compliance with 
the requirement herein set forth shall be deemed to have violated 
section eight of this Act, and upon conviction shall be subject 
to the penalty therein prescribed : Provided further, That for 
the purpose of making effective the provisions of this section 
relating to the protection of aliens from fraud and loss, and also 
the provisions of section thirty of this Act, relating to the dis- 
tribution of aliens, the Secretary of Labor shall establish and 
maintain immigrant stations at such interior places as may be 
necessary, and, in the discretion of the said Secretary, aliens in 
transit from ports of landing to such interior stations shall be 
accompanied by immigrant inspectors : Provided further, That in 
prescribing rules and making contracts for the entry and inspec- 
tion of aliens applying for admission from or through foreign 
contiguous territory, due care shall be exercised to avoid any 
discriminatory action in favor of foreign transportation companies 
transporting to such territory aliens destined to the United States, 
and all such transportation companies shall be required, as a 
condition precedent to the inspection or examination under such 
fules and contracts at the ports of such contiguous territory of 
aliens brought thereto by them, to submit to and comply with 
all the requirements of this Act which would apply were they bring- 
ing such aliens directly to seaports of the United States, and, from 
and after the taking effect of this Act, no alien applying for admis- 
sion from foreign contiguous territory shall be permitted to enter 
the United States unless upon proving that he was brought to 
such territory by a transportation company which had submitted 
to and complied with all the requirements of this Act, or that he 
entered, or has resided in, such territory more than two years prior 
to the date of his application for admission to the United States. 


SEC. 24. That immigrant inspectors and other immigration 
officers, clerks, and employees shall hereafter be appointed and 
their compensation fixed and raised or decreased from time to 
time by the Secretary of Labor, upon the recommendation of the 
Commissioner-General of Immigration and in accordance with the 
provisions of the civil-service Act of January sixteenth, eighteen 
hundred and eighty- three : Provided, That said Secretary, in the 
enforcement of that portipn of this Act which excludes contract 
laborers and induced and assisted immigrants, may employ, 
for such purposes and for detail upon additional service under this 
Act' when not so engaged, without reference to the provisions of 
the said civil-service Act, or to the various Acts relative to the 
compilation of the Official Register, such persons as he may 
deem advisable and from time to time fix, raise, or decrease their 
compensation. He may draw annually from the appropriation 
for the enforcement of this Act $100,000, or as much thereof as 
may be necessary, to be expended for the salaries and expenses, of 
persons so employed and for expenses incident to such employ- 
ment ; and the accounting officers of the Treasury shall pass to 
the credit of the proper disbursing officer expenditures from said 
sum without itemized account whenever the Secretary of Labor 
certifies that an itemized account would not be for the best 
interests of the Government : Provided further, That nothing 
herein contained shall be construed to alter the mode of appoint- 
ing commissioners of immigration at the several ports of the 
United States as provided by the sundry civil appropriation Act 
approved August eighteenth, eighteen hundred and ninety- 
four, or the official status of such commissioners heretofore ap- 

SEC. 25. That the district courts of the United States are 
hereby invested with full jurisdiction of all causes, civil and 
criminal, arising under any of the provisions of this Act. That it 
shall be the duty of the United States district attorney of the 
proper district to prosecute every such suit when brought by the 
United States under this Act. Such prosecutions or suits may be 
instituted at any place in the United States at which the violation 
may occur or at which the person charged with such violation 
may be found. That no suit or proceeding for a violation of 
the provisions of this Act shall be settled, compromised, or 


discontinued without the consent of the court in which it is 
pending, entered of record, with' the reasons therefor. 

SEC. 26. That all exclusive privileges of exchanging money, 
transporting passengers or baggage, or keeping eating houses, 
and all other like privileges in connection with any United States 
immigrant station, shall be disposed of to the lowest responsible 
and capable bidder, after public competition, notice of such 
competitive bidding having been made in two newspapers of 
general circulation for a period of two weeks, subject to such 
conditions and limitations as the Commissioner General of 
Immigration, under the direction or with the approval of the 
Secretary of Labor, may prescribe, and all receipts accruing 
from the disposal of privileges shall be paid into the Treasury of 
the United States. No such contract shall be awarded to an 
alien. No intoxicating liquors shall be sold at any such immi- 
gration station. 

SEC. 27. That for the preservation of the peace and in order 
that arrests may be made for crimes under the laws of the States 
and Territories of the United States where the various immigrant 
stations are located, the officers in charge of such stations, as 
occasion may require, shall admit therein the proper State and 
municipal officers charged with the enforcement of such laws, 
and for the purpose of this section the jurisdiction of such officers 
and of the local courts shall extend over such stations. 

SEC. 28. That any person who knowingly aids or assists any 
anarchist or any person who believes in or advocates the over- 
throw by force or violence of the Government of the United 
States, or who disbelieves in or is opposed to organized govern- 
ment, or all forms of law, or who advocates the assassination of 
public officials, or who is a member of or affiliated with any 
organization entertaining or teaching disbelief in or opposition to 
organized government, or who advocates or teaches the duty, 
necessity, or propriety of the unlawful assaulting or killing of any 
officer or officers, either of specific individuals or of officers 
generally, of the Government of the United States or of any other 
organized government, because of his or their official character, 
to enter the United States, or who connives or conspires with 
any person or persons to allow, procure, or permit any such 
anarchist or person aforesaid to enter therein, shall be deemed 


guilty of a felony, and on conviction thereof shall be punished by 
a fine of not more than $5000 or by imprisonment for not more 
than five years, or both. 

Any person who knowingly aids or assists any alien who advo- 
cates or teaches the unlawful destruction of property to enter 
the United States shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and 
on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more 
than $1000, or by imprisonment for not more than six months, 
or by both such fine and imprisonment. 

SEC. 29. That the President of the United States is authorized, 
in the name of the Government of the United States, to call, in 
his discretion, an international conference, to assemble at such 
point as may be agreed upon, or to send special commissioners to 
any foreign country, for the purpose of regulating by international 
agreement, subject to the advice and consent of the Senate of the 
United States, the immigration of aliens to the United States; 
of providing for the mental, moral, and physical examination of 
such aliens by American consuls or other officers of the United 
States Government at the ports of embarkation, or elsewhere; 
of securing the assistance of foreign Governments in their own 
territories to prevent the evasion of the laws of the United States 
governing immigration to the United States; of entering into 
such international agreements as may be proper to prevent the 
immigration of aliens who, under the laws of the United States, 
are or may be excluded from entering the United States, and of 
regulating any matters pertaining to such immigration. 

SEC. 30. That there shall be maintained a division of informa- 
tion in the Bureau of Immigration ; and the Secretary of Labor 
shall provide such clerical and other assistance as may be neces- 
sary. It shall be the duty of said division to promote a beneficial 
distribution of aliens admitted into the United States among the 
several States and Territories desiring immigration. Correspond- 
ence shall be had with the proper officials of the States and 
Territories, and said division shall gather from all available 
sources useful information regarding the resources, products, 
and physical characteristics of each State and Territory, and 
shall publish such information in different languages and dis- 
tribute the publications among all admitted aliens at the immi- 
grant stations of the United States and to such other persons as 


may desire the same. When any State or Territory appoints and 
maintains an agent or agents to represent it at any of the immi- 
grant stations of the United States, such agents shall, under regu- 
lations prescribed by the Commissioner General of Immigration, 
subject to the approval of the Secretary of Labor, have access to 
aliens who have been admitted to the United States for the pur- 
pose of presenting, either orally or in writing, the special induce- 
ments offered by such State or Territory to aliens to settle therein. 
While on duty at any immigrant station such agents shall be 
subject to all the regulations prescribed by the Commissioner- 
General of Immigration, who, with the approval of the Secretary 
of Labor, may, for violation of any such regulations, deny to the 
agent guilty of such violation any of the privileges herein granted. 

SEC. 31. That any person, including the owner, agent, con- 
signee, or master of any vessel arriving in the United States from 
any foreign port or place, who shall knowingly sign on the ship's 
articles, or bring to the United States as one of the crew of such 
vessel, any alien, with intent to permit such alien to land in the 
United States in violation of the laws and treaties of the United 
States regulating the immigration of aliens, or who shall falsely 
and knowingly represent to the immigration authorities at the 
port of arrival that any such alien is a bona fide member of the 
crew, shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding $5000, for which 
sum the said vessel shall be liable and may be seized and pro- 
ceeded against by way of libel in any district court of the United 
States having jurisdiction of the offense. 

SEC. 3 2 . That no alien excluded from admission into the United 
States by any law, convention, or treaty of the United States 
regulating the immigration of aliens, and employed on board 
any vessel arriving in the United States from any foreign port or 
place, shall be permitted to land in the United States, except 
temporarily for medical treatment, or pursuant to regulations 
prescribed by the Secretary of Labor providing for the ultimate 
removal or deportation of such alien from the United States, and 
the negligent failure of the owner, agent, consignee, or master of 
such vessel to detain on board any such alien after notice in 
writing by the immigration officer in charge at the port of arrival, 
and to deport such alien, if required by such immigration officer 
or by the Secretary of Labor, shall render such owner, agent, 


consignee, or master liable to a penalty not exceeding $1000, 
for which sum the said vessel shall be liable, and may be seized 
and proceeded against by way of libel in any district Court 
of the United States having jurisdiction of the offense. 

SEC. 33. That it shall be unlawful and be deemed a violation 
of the preceding section to pay off or discharge any alien em- 
ployed on board any vessel arriving in the United States from 
any foreign port or place, unless duly admitted pursuant to the 
laws and treaties of the United States regulating the immigration 
of aliens: Provided, That in case any such alien intends to 
reship on board any other vessel bound to any foreign port or 
place, he shall be allowed to land for the purpose of so reshipping, 
under such regulations as the Secretary of Labor may prescribe 
to prevent aliens not admissible under any law, convention, or 
treaty from remaining permanently in the United States, and 
may be paid off, discharged, and permitted to remove his effects, 
anything in such laws or treaties or in this Act to the contrary 
notwithstanding, provided due notice of such proposed action be 
given by the master or the seaman himself to the principal 
immigration officer in charge at the port of arrival. 

SEC. 34. That any alien seaman who shall land in a port of the 
United States contrary to the provisions of this Act shall be 
deemed to be unlawfully in the United States, and shall, at 
any time within three years thereafter, upon the warrant of the 
Secretary of Labor, be taken into custody and brought before a 
board of special inquiry for examination as to his qualification 
for admission to the United States, and if not admitted said alien 
seaman shall be deported at the expense of the appropriation 
for this Act as provided in section twenty of this Act. 

SEC. 35. That it shall be unlawful for any vessel carrying 
passengers between a port of the United States and a port of a 
foreign country, upon arrival in the United States, to have on 
board employed thereon any alien afflicted with idiocy, imbecility, 
insanity, epilepsy, tuberculosis in any form, or a loathsome or 
dangerous contagious disease, if it appears to the satisfaction of 
the Secretary of Labor, from an examination made by a medical 
officer of the United States Public Health Service, and is so 
certified by such officer, that any such alien was so afflicted at 
the time he was shipped or engaged and taken on board such 


vessel and that the existence of such affliction might have been 
detected by means of a competent medical examination at such 
time; and for every such alien so afflicted on board any such 
vessel at the time of arrival the owner, agent, consignee, or 
master thereof shall pay to the collector of customs of the 
customs district in which the port of arrival is located the sum of 
$50, and pending departure of the vessel the alien shall be detained 
and treated in hospital under supervision of immigration officials 
at the expense of the vessel; and no vessel shall be granted 
clearance pending the determination of the question of the 
liability to the payment of such fine and while it remains unpaid : 
Provided, That clearance may be granted prior to the deter- 
mination of such question upon the deposit of a sum sufficient 
to cover such fine : Provided further, That such fine may, in the 
discretion of the Secretary of Labor, be mitigated or remitted. 

SEC. 36. That upon arrival of any vessel in the United States 
from any foreign port or place it shall be the duty of the owner, 
agent, consignee, or master thereof to deliver to the principal 
immigration officer in charge of the port of arrival lists containing 
the names of all aliens employed on such vessel, stating the posi- 
tions they respectively hold in the ship's company, when and 
where they were respectively shipped or engaged, and specifying 
those to be paid off and discharged in the port of arrival ; or lists 
containing so much of such information as the Secretary of 
Labor shall by regulation prescribe ; and after the arrival of any 
such vessel it shall be the duty of such owner, agent, consignee, 
or master to report to such immigration officer, in writing, as 
soon as discovered, all cases in which any such alien has illegally 
landed from the vessel, giving a description of such alien, to- 
gether with any information likely to lead to his apprehension ; 
and before the departure of any such vessel it shall be the duty of 
such owner, agent, consignee, or master to deliver to such immi- 
gration officer a further list containing the names of all alien 
employees who were not employed thereon at the time of the 
arrival but who will leave port thereon at the time of her depar- 
ture, and also the names of those, if any, who have been paid off 
and discharged, and of those, if any, who have deserted or 
landed ; and in case of the failure of such owner, agent, consignee, 
or master so to deliver either of the said lists of such aliens arriving 


and departing, respectively, or so to report such cases of desertion 
or landing, such owner, agent, consignee, or maste